Yet another Sparrowhawk or Kestrel...


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
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Yet another Sparrowhawk or Kestrel...

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Perched in the field about 100 yards away. Too excited grabbing camera and binoculars to watch the flight...

Knowle, just south of Solihull, West Midlands.

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  • Hi Ian

    It's a lovely Kestrel, well caught

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  • Hi Ian

    It's a lovely Kestrel, well caught

  • Thanks. We were veering towards that but thought it might be a female Sparrowhawk. We've noted the tips and tricks for future spots. The perch is also a favourite Buzzard haunt.

  • He's returned a couple of times now but this morning he was quite settled. He got chased off by a magpie but this didn't deter him too much and soon returned and sat around making a few dives over an hour or so. Then a crow(?) had a long dog-fight doing several passes over the field with the kestrel struggling to break away.

    Anyway, he seemed determined for me to make an easy ID with this tail display...

    ...and wing colouring...

    ...and general shape.

    First time using RAW and had time to fiddle with camera settings giving exposure a bit of a boost against the sky.

  • Hi Ian

    Definitely a kestrel, female one in my opinion


  • I was leaning to male as I thought the tail was grey, but the one angle it decided it wasn't going to give me aside from this profile. OTOH, I understand the spotted back leading you to say female.

  • Hi Ian it's the head you want to keep an eye on, males have greyish heads and females brown.

    Look here at Wendy's thread she gets a male

  • Ah! Got it. Going back to my book, I realise the massive picture of the male (with a grey head!) it has fails to mention head colour and highlights other differences. Wendy's pictures make it crystal clear.

  • Late to the party again ... a beautiful female Ian, just what my boy here needs!

  • We were standing at the kitchen window. Although the weather was dire, its been a good day on the feeders, the usual crew came by, then we had a Greenfinch which had been lurking and finally decided it was time to gorge and it decided to come back a couple of times for extended stays (even though poor old camera is operating at 5 stops below last week it is that dull). We were just congratulating ourselves on 3 Goldfinches at one time, when BANG!

    ...a Sparrowhawk landed about 6 feet away from us on the guttering of our single storey extension - tits, finches, parrots and robins scattered to the four winds. A distinctly grey back and a beady eye glaring at us - we knew it wasn't a Kestrel. He angrily sulked for 15 or 20 seconds and then flounced off - I don't think he had properly accounted for the brick wall behind its prey and had to abort.

    So, we can now ID Sparrowhawks.

  • So, this male Kestrel was easy to ID - firstly because of the info provided here but also because he was so co-operative and allowed us so close. Near Lulworth Cove.

  • Well, having got home with our new found kestrel sexing skills, who should appear on our dark and stormy morning (hence the grotty pictures)? It seems we have Mr & Mrs locally with Mr K putting in an appearance.

  • Well done Ian lovely shots, it looks like they are giving you plenty of ID,ing opportunities.

  • Great captures Ian, just what I need to see with my Mr K here not visiting just now!