Saturday 21 November 2020

Farmoor - 19 November

Arriving shortly after the gates opened it was soon clear that the weather wasn't living up to the forecast from earlier in the week. Instead of light cloud with some sun, it was grey with a fresh breeze from the west. Starting with the GND, which is normally to be seen on the eastern side of F2, near to the pontoons with the boats, I caught a couple of glimpses of it after a considerable amount of scanning. But the rough conditions made it difficult to see, and it certainly wasn't close. It then seemed to disappear so I tried my luck with the Scaup over on the western side of F1. Here the water was a lot calmer but for some reason all 3 birds were fast asleep most of time, even though the Tufted Ducks all around them weren't. When the female did eventually wake up, it then proceeded to swim right and into the sun, which was now being to emerge from time to time.

Giving this up as a bad job, I got a call from Bob suggesting that I look behind me! Down below he and another were seemingly concentrating on something perched on a tree just above the path near the Pinkhill Hide, but on the east side facing the mown grassy area. From my position I could just make out what it was they were photographing - the tame male Kestrel that others have come across recently in the same general area.

So I made my way down there as fast as possible, and to my amazement the bird was still there when I arrived and set up my gear. Not only that it tolerated a remarkably close approach by 3 (soon to be 4) photographers. It didn't seem at all bothered by our presence and remained on its perch for a few minutes before having a leisurely stretch and then flying off, not to be seen again.

As usual, click on the upper and lowest captions for larger images

Kestrel calmly watching its admirers

Crop of shot above

Having a stretch before flying off

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