In an earlier post I introduced Spike- the barn owl who we met and handled at Thirsk Falconry Centre.
Spike, however wasn't the only bird that we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with. Our other close encounter was with another British bird - meet Branston the female kestrel.
Kestrels are a very familiar bird in our area and we regularly see one hovering alongside the motorway. When hovering the kestrel's head is remarkably still as it scans the ground for signs of a meal.
Even when sitting on Martyn's hand Branston was watching out for a meal and she was also keeping a lookout for any potential danger from above - after all there were eagles and vultures about.
The closest that I had previously been to a kestrel was one morning when opening the bedroom curtains and looking down on a male sitting on one of our bird baths.
Up close Branston was smaller than I thought she would be. In the photos below she is sitting in either Martyn's or my hand. Can you tell which is which?
It was difficult to capture Branston in flight. Below are my best efforts/
Once she had finished her performance Branston was well rewarded.
Who could fail to appreciate the beauty of such a bird except a small mammal such as a mouse?
Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett