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Most of my sightings of Kestrels have been of birds rapidly beating their wings to maintain their incredibly static position in the air as they watch intently for the small mammals they prey on, and this ability to remain almost stationary is the reason for some of their many vernacular names: windhover and windfucker, hoverhawk, wind bivver, wind fanner and stand hawk. (This series of stills was taken recently of a Kestrel doing just that at Lavernock Nature Reserve.)

I was particularly delighted, then, during our recent birding trip to Portland, to do a little hovering of my own – albeit at ground level – as I edged ever closer to a Kestrel that was taking a short break from its almost constant hunting and sheltering from the gusting northerlies on a nearby roof top. What a stunning bird it is!

181110 kestrel (5)