At close quarters with kestrals

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dingdong
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At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 12:33 pm

Hubby and I live in quiet old block in a quiet area.

I was amazed to find kestrals nesting here. There are about 3 pairs to which we have named, so we have become quite intimate with them. :lol: It's quite fascinating watching their behaviour and how the house martins gang up against them when they feel under attack. I have not yet seen a kestral kill another bird apart from a pigeon...maybe it was old. :(

How nice to see this sort of wildlife going on around us. They move elsewhere for the summer. Maybe it's to get away from the tourists :P

Does anyone else have this sort of privelage?
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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princess peach
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby princess peach » Wed May 13, 2009 1:04 pm

we have them regularly flying about the tops of houses here,and resting on the roof terrace tops,never seen nesting one yet tho.How lucky are you!
We also have loads of eagles flying about usually in groups of 20.they are also beautiful to watch.
Saw an egyptian vulture on the ground a few years ago,some spanish guy tried to wrap his beach towel round it.. :lol: It had been brought down by the seagulls...that was wonderful to see,A huge bird!

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 1:34 pm

Not living in the campo we don't really see much of the wild life exept for the normal birds and kestrals. Would love to spend a few weeks in the interior to get a real feel for it.

I didn't know that eagles floched like that! Must have been a sight.

Ah, but you say the seagulls bought down the vulture. Are you quite close to the sea then or were they taking a trip inland?
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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anis
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby anis » Wed May 13, 2009 1:56 pm

Hi Ding Dong and welcome.
Must be fascinating to be able to watch them up close. Should be more so when the fledglings are ready.
No kestrels spotted here by me yet, but this morning, I accidentally flushed out - or my dogs did, two red grouse. I don't think they are native here but I am sure they were grouse. Just a lone pair.
I have never seen that variety here before although there are quite few ground feeders where I walk daily.
There are some fabulous birds about at the moment, not to mention my annoying visiting heron that won't leave our pond alone, looking for breakfast dinner and tea in one swoop !

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 2:54 pm

Hi Anis and thanks for the welcome.

I must get out for walks more. I'm missing such a lot. What a waste :oops:

I keep trying to persuade him indoors to get a dog but is having none of it :cry:

I suppose he is right when living in an appartment but it would get me out a lot more :)
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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princess peach
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby princess peach » Wed May 13, 2009 5:19 pm

I didn't know that eagles floched like that! Must have been a sight.

Ah, but you say the seagulls bought down the vulture. Are you quite close to the sea then or were they taking a trip inland?
When i saw the vulture i lived practically over the road from Gibraltar in apartments,so i had sea each side of me.I havent ever seen another one. :(

Now i live about 25 mins away from Gib on the edge of the campo,and this is where i see the eagles,they glide on the thermals high in the sky.i love watching them,its funny how the sky goes quiet when they are around,all the other birds disappear.

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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby katy » Wed May 13, 2009 6:46 pm

PP I have heard that your area is perfect for bird watching, especially during the times of migration.

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 6:58 pm

Hi Katy,

That may be possible but don't see that many myself. If I go just half a mile inland then I am sure I will be suprised what I find there.

It amazes me how big and quiet the seaguls are. Totally different from ours. The cattle egrets are cheeky little beggers aren't they :o The way they perch on horses and follow the sheep around. Facinating wildlife.
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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ken2
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby ken2 » Wed May 13, 2009 8:31 pm

Dingdong, it would be nice if you where to say where you live,then perhaps we can tell you where to look,

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princess peach
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby princess peach » Wed May 13, 2009 8:44 pm

PP I have heard that your area is perfect for bird watching, especially during the times of migration.
I suppose it is Katy,only i wish i knew half the names of the birds that i see.
Last year we sat on the roof terrace and watched mustve been near 100 eagles coming up from behind Sabinillas way,heading towards Morrocco.that was fantastic,like an explosion of birds,they were everywhere,it mustve took nearly an hour for them to all go over the roof.
Some of the wildlife in Spain is amazing,when i lived nearer Gib in the apartment i only saw the vulture,no eagles nothing,but since moving into the wilds,we see so much more. :D

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ken2
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby ken2 » Wed May 13, 2009 9:00 pm

hi ya P.P treat your self to a good book like, Birds of Iberia by Clive Finlayson and David Tomlinson,a little pricey, but when you see the pictures, worth every cent,and then take your camera, then look at them on your computor, you will soon lean what birds are what.heres two i took last week,

Image

rock bunting

Image

stone chat,

i never knew what there where till i got home and put them on computor, we love it, its as exciting looking up to see what you have, and reliving the moment,

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 10:22 pm

ken2 wrote:Dingdong, it would be nice if you where to say where you live,then perhaps we can tell you where to look,
Hi Ken2. I live in Torrox-Costa, Malaga. Look foward for any advice you can give on the wildlife around here. I am so ashamed of myself for having lived here for 6 years and knowing really very little about it. :oops:
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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ken2
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby ken2 » Wed May 13, 2009 10:41 pm

Ijust looked on google earth, it looks like you got some nice bits of green land around you, wild life is every where, they seem to adapt to all ways of life,but you have to look, a nice little digital camera, and just look, loads of creepy crawlers, nice little wild flowers .sit some where quiet and just watch, and please try and get some pics of the KESTRALS we would love to see them with the nests,but if you can drive, blimey you got loads your way to drive inland a little, and just keep your eyes open,

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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby chrissiehope » Wed May 13, 2009 10:42 pm

[quote="ken2"]hi ya P.P treat your self to a good book like, Birds of Iberia by Clive Finlayson and David Tomlinson,....quote]

Great photos, ken, and I'm going to google that book tomorrow - I'm fed up with the [email protected] one we have at the moment :)
Alexandr for President (Squire for PM !)

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ken2
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby ken2 » Wed May 13, 2009 10:48 pm

chrissiehope wrote:
ken2 wrote:hi ya P.P treat your self to a good book like, Birds of Iberia by Clive Finlayson and David Tomlinson,....quote]

Great photos, ken, and I'm going to google that book tomorrow - I'm fed up with the [email protected] one we have at the moment :)

you really won't regret it, i ask for books as presants, or favers, he he this is another nice book for the birds,photographic guide to the BIRDS of britain & europe over 1300 colour photographs by HAKAN DELIN > LARS SVENSSON. BUT I LIKE THE FIRST ONE BEST,THIS ONE HAS TRIED TO PUT TO MUCH IN ONE BOOK,Blimey you got me on a roll here,know this one is really great to carry with you,by collins , complete mediterranean wildlifeby Paul Sterry, when i bought it last year it cost €27.50. he he another pressy, but the buyer forgot to take price off, bless.shows how much she loves me, he he it was me daughter,

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 11:04 pm

ken2 wrote:Ijust looked on google earth, it looks like you got some nice bits of green land around you, wild life is every where, they seem to adapt to all ways of life,but you have to look, a nice little digital camera, and just look, loads of creepy crawlers, nice little wild flowers .sit some where quiet and just watch, and please try and get some pics of the KESTRALS we would love to see them with the nests,but if you can drive, blimey you got loads your way to drive inland a little, and just keep your eyes open,
Will try and get some piccies of the kestrals but I don't know whether my didgy camera will handle it. It doesn't have much of a zoom lense on it. They do perch quite close to us, at least one pair anyway, the other pairs are around the other side of the building. The pair by me are courting at the moment. The original female died some time a go but they don't seem settled enough. I think they have missed the window this year now. There are people in the appartment at present just where they would nest :( :D

Yep. I'm going to start going out in the evening. I hate to say it but I tend to keep out of the sun when it gets hot, especially when walking. I love to hear the frogs too...they are really noisy at night aren't they...lol
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x

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ken2
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby ken2 » Wed May 13, 2009 11:20 pm

if only we could get some pics of them noisey little devils,
Image
these are building on me light over me front door, cheeky, when nest is finnished i will post another pic.you might of noticed, its right beside my security camera, so i have to delete abot 300 blody pictures every night, ha ha i have it set to motion,by the way they are a pair of swollows.
Last edited by ken2 on Wed May 13, 2009 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wildside
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby wildside » Wed May 13, 2009 11:21 pm

Hi all, lovely to hear you all enjoying the amazing nature all around.... :)

The kestrels if they are in groups will probably be Lesser kestrels (falco naumanni) and in Spanish Cernicalo primilla... If you see one on it's own out in the country then it might well be a common Kestrel the same as you would see in the UK... lesser kestrels are migratory and spend the winters in sub sahara Africa.. Places like Senegal... Whilst here they feed on small insects like grasshoppers and locusts and also lizards and small mammals if they catch them.... The live in colonies and very often their breeding area is a hole in an old tower or church in a town... Many towns and villages are repairing old towers and such like and filling in all the holes leaving the kestrels with no where to nest... So If you live in a town where repairs are being made... Ask the builders to remember the kestrels... They eat solitary locusts and egyption grasshoppers... natures way of controlling a plague... :)

Princess Peach your "Eagles" are very probably griffon vultures... You wouldn't normally see that many eagles together...

If anyone wants to see griffons close up just PM me and I'll be glad to help out

wildside
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby wildside » Wed May 13, 2009 11:34 pm

Here is a picture of a female Common Kestrel... She even has some chicks in the hole in the rock face... :)

Image

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dingdong
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Re: At close quarters with kestrals

Postby dingdong » Wed May 13, 2009 11:51 pm

Hi wildside.

Thanks for that information. The more the better :)

According to our bird book they are lesser kestrals. So obviously for some reason, they have decided not to winter in Africa. Apparently, they have nested here for years but they do vanish in the high season. As I said previously, they can be partial to other birds. One was feasting on a pigeon that was wounded so, pigeon pie on the menu too :D

Unfortunately, the outside of this building will be painted soon so there is a chance that we may not see them again but the residents of the block are very protective of them. They actually nest in soft cacti type plants that grow on the dirt ledges so they may be lucky. There is no need to disturb them if they paint while they are on their hol's :wink: The info I have given you does not totally fit inwith your synopsis of kestrel life, where it lives etc, but normally we are only given general descriptions. True?

Ps: I have just seen your picture wildside . Looks very much like our residents.
It's better to be over the hill...than under it!!

dingdong. x


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