The Daily Bucket is a nature refuge. We amicably discuss animals, weather, climate, soil, plants, waters and note life’s patterns.
We invite you to note what you are seeing around you in your own part of the world, and to share your observations in the comments below.
Flint Hills of Kansas
Kestrels are arriving here in the Flint Hills in large numbers again this year. They are such fast flyers they present an added challenge to photographers, especially when trying for that perfect BIF. I’ve been trying to reacclimate to accommodate. It takes practice and different settings to catch up to these little falcons in flight. Proper Practice Provides Perfect Performance...along with a dose of good luck!
I managed a semi-good/semi-bad sequence of a Kestrel making a stoop that resulted in success. It was very much a gunslinger shootout affair. Before that, my interest was piqued by trying the road hunt method of seeing the bird in flight and trying to stop the truck, get out, get ready, and shoot, hoping to get something decent out of that deal. Hard as that was to say, it’s a lot easier said than done. Did I mention Kestrels are really fast?
The sequence began just the way it ended, with my Kestrel* perched on a power line watching for another potential victim. This Kestrel has learned as much as I have during our interaction, and plays the leapfrog game that I have found is common with other raptors perching on poles or lines. They have a comfort zone. If you get closer than that they will fly forward enough to re-establish that zone. They will do that about three times before taking off for a distance that settles the issue in their favor, usually by flying away and circling around to take up a position behind you. So I just parked, got out, and became a bump in the shade beside my little truck. That plan worked! After awhile the bird determined I was not a threat and resumed it’s hunting plans.
I learned something from this escapade. Kestrels are a whole nuther game at a whole nuther speed. I have a lot of catching up to do to get the pics I want. But in the meantime I’m having a lot of fun trying. LOL.
*Caveat: I can’t confirm all these pics are of the same Kestrel as the pair were hunting the same area together. To complicate things further there is another pair just about a mile down the road and their territories definitely overlap. At high speed they appear one and the same in my little viewfinder.
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