I just decided to post this one as a separate entry. I thought it justified a post of its own. Saturday saw me waiting patiently at the airport for a few aviation related images. Having not been up to the airport for a while I was now on a roll as Fridays visit now meant visits on two consecutive days. Further to my post yesterday called 3 Months of nothing…then 3 days of everything (which can be viewed here ) I had arranged to meet some friends for a catch up and some happy snapping. The images are all aviation related and probably wouldn’t justify a complete entry on NMDP. This was until we had a visitor.
Kestrels and Red Kites are very common in the skies above West Yorkshire. In particular near the airport as mice and small rodents are in abundance in the grounds of the airport and its restricted areas. These areas are rarely touched by humans and are a great source of food for wild birds and foxes alike. In the early 2000’s Red Kites were released from Harewood House and nearly 100 breeding pairs are in existence in the area. Kestrels are also common sights as I was to find out this cold Easter morning.
I had been talking to friends about the very same subject and one even showed me some recent images on his camera. The subject has arisen after I commented on seeing a Kestrel perched on the fence opposite to where I was parked. I was shown some photos of Red Kites and Kestrels very close to the airport and didn’t think about it too much. I tapped off a couple of frames of the said bird sat on the fence and proceeded to go sit back in my car.
Not unlike me, I slowly dozed off and then totally unaware of what was going on around me nearly missed this very opportunity. To be completely honest, I wasnt even looking. I was sat behind the steering wheel in my car and starring in to space. MY friend John was emphatically gesturing towards me and pointing. For a split second it didn’t sink in and I looked from the passenger side window straight ahead in the direction he was pointing. And there, sat on a recently cut thicket was a young Kestrel observing the airfield like a fledgling plane spotter. After my recent experience with the Peregrine Falcon in Cumbria I learned my lesson. No sudden movements, no knee-jerk reaction. I slowly picked up my camera from the front seat and managed to fill the frame with this beautiful bird. I tapped off a dozen images in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds before Kes turned its head and departed for a more peaceful hunting ground.
This was no consolation for the Peregrine miss in Cumbria last month but it was a good second best….. I will post the complete images from Saturday in a while. In the meantime enjoy my new friend Kes. It’s a shame the lighting wasnt better but you can’t have everything in this not so perfect world can you.