An Unexpected Kestrel Arrival…..

Whilst in the garden at the weekend, I was delighted to hear the distinctive call of a kestrel. I have not seen kestrels around here for a few years, yet they used to be a common sight. Not only did I see them once, but a couple of times and there was a pair and they were being very vocal! I presumed the vocalisations were because of the jackdaws that were mobbing them.

On Sunday, as I went up the garden, I heard the distinctive call again and saw one emerge from the barn owl box, mounted at the end of the garden! I was so excited… completely unexpected! I had removed the camera from this box last year as it had stopped working and had not replaced it…..

It is early for kestrels to breed so I knew they were  prospecting. Watching for a little while and having a good think, I decided to see if I could get a camera inside. I had a Hikvision mini Dome IP camera… perfect for the job and relatively easy to install. I knew I could access the side of the box easily and screw it into the wall with minimum disruption .

I set the camera up in advance so I would not have to fiddle too much with it once it was in situ. After a bit of manoeuvring , I screwed the cam in place and ran a cable connect it to my icatcher console. Within 10 minutes, I was thrilled to see the male back in the box, calling to the female to join him. I could not believe my luck!

The camera is not perfect, but if they nest this year, I can play around with the set up and the box next year. It could do with some additional lighting, as the early morning shots from this morning were a bit grainy…. better than nothing though!

As you can imagine, I am delighted at the project of this pair taking up residence! Here are the initial clips lifted from the cams, I have not managed to get the audio to work yet…..

With a much duller day today, the image is not as clear…. but the female comes in for a look and there is even a food pass!!! SO exciting!

When I came in from work tonight, the pair of them were sitting on a tree stump at the opposite end of the field. I quickly got my camera out and took a couple of shots, in dire light and pouring rain….