Small bird of prey in a tree... Kestrel?

I expect this is a Kestrel... but you never know!  The light was awful so the pictures aren't the best at all.

Many thanks for any insight!

  • Kestrel it is - photo 11 shows most detail.

    When you have photos that are taken against a bright sky like this then it's harder to make out a bird's markings but then you must take into consideration the bird's behaviour.

    Here, the bird is showing Kestrel behaviour - other falcons would not behave in this manner.

    Little tip for photographing birds against a bright sky - increase your exposure compensation to 'compensate' for the brighter sky.
  • Interesting, thanks.

    What's the behaviour you refer to. Sitting in a tree, for example?
  • In reply to jamesw332:

    jamesw332 said:
    What's the behaviour you refer to. Sitting in a tree, for example?

    I can't speak for rspbailey, James, but---given that you appear to have posted a chronological sequence of photos---perhaps:

    - That it perches

    - Where it perches

    - Its posture while perching

    - The foray over the field

    - (The tail fan)

    - The return to the same perch

    Hard to get behaviour from a sequence of stills, but that would be my take on this particular sequence.

    Best regards - 

    Dave 

  • In reply to jamesw332:

    As Dave says, typical Kestrel behaviour is to 'hang around' sussing out its territory and doing so with a more 'relaxed' action as it gently flies from perch to perch less skittish than say a Merlin, Hobby or Peregrine - and the biggest give away of course is the fact that it hunts by 'hovering' using the wind to target its prey.

    Another tip is to listen out for any calls the bird makes as this is also a good way of identification when you can't make out details in the field or with quickly taken photographs.
  • In reply to rspbailey:

    rspbailey said:
    the biggest give away of course is the fact that it hunts by 'hovering'

    Funny, I hadn't interpreted that particular photo as a hover. But it looks like you're right and it is.

    Yes. Calls. Very useful.

    Dave 

  • Thanks all for the info! A great help!