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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….

If they decide to nest here, this camera will live stream both on my website and on the CJ Wildlife website!… keep your fingers crossed!

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