Thursday, August 2, 2012

Learning to Fly...

Today's Guardian Country Diary describes an encounter with this young kestrel, which was still struggling to master some of the finer points of flight.

First it raced over our heads at great speed .....

... then executed a not-very-elegant landing in the top of this holly tree, whose whippy branches launched it back into the air, until ....

.... it came to rest on a rather more substantial fencepost on the far side of the hedge and glared at us.

Then it tried a few wing exercises ....

... and was almost knocked off balance by a gust of wind under its wings.....

...... before having a  good look around to see ........

.... who else might be witnessing its efforts to fly like a kestrel.

Eventually it tried out a few practice hunting manoeuvres on the ringlet butterflies in the surrounding grassland. Hopefully, it will have got the hang of hovering and learned how to catch more substantial prey before winter comes.


  1. Great shots Phil.
    I'm sure he'll soon get the hang of it all. I can watch them for hours as they effortlessly hang in the air, searching out their prey.

  2. Great series and an interesting encounter to watch.

  3. Me too Keith, their numbers dropped around here for a while but there seem to be plenty about now..

  4. Thanks John .... one of my favourite birds.

  5. Learning to fly, do or die....

  6. Lovely pictures uphilldowndale ... glad it survived!