Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Windhover



The Windhover is another name for the Common Kestrel. This bird, once the most common bird of prey in the U.K. is a familiar sight to most people, especially those who do a lot of driving as the bird is frequently seen hovering over roadside verges.

These birds are typically nervous when it comes to human beings and normally fly before I can get anywhere close enough to get a half-decent photo with my little camera, but the other day I saw and heard a pair mating, with the female seemingly nonchalant as to my presence, which enabled me to get the above shots whilst remaining ensconced in my van. The male wasn't as accommodating, staying fairly distant, but still within half-decent range.


The female posed for a bit and then decided to do a bit of hunting right by my window, result!








Okay, not the greatest shots that you will ever see, but I am fairly happy with them!

"I caught this morning morning's minion, king-dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing. 
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, 
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion."
The Windhover by Gerard Mauley Hopkins

14 comments:

  1. Brilliant series of shots John. I would have been over the Moon to have taken those.

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    1. Thanks John,
      I am quite happy, but I was even happier at the close views that I had of the female hovering. Very nice!
      J

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  2. Wow, these are awesome captures of the Kestrel! Well done! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, too kind! You too!
      J

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  3. A superb bird John; and I'd have been more than happy with those shots.

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    1. Thanks Keith! Yes, indeed, a superb bird!
      J

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  4. Lovely shots John. Really nice, especially the hover ones.
    Obviously the male was a bit shy.{:))

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    1. Thanks Roy! Yes, obviously the bashful sort! ;)
      J

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  5. HI John....If Keith would be more than happy with these shots's I'd say you did a bang-up job ; }
    Great bird and great photos, and a great opportunity
    I enjoyed the poem also!!
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace,
      Thank you. I had a vague memory of a poem about a Kestrel in the back of my mind and after looking on the internet managed to find it!
      J

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  6. Very well done John! A lovely set of photos, I especially like the ones of the female hovering, really great captures! I've alway liked the old country name of Windhover....nice poem too ;-)

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    1. Thanks Jan! There is a pub near Northampton called the Windhover, although I am sure the sign is not of a Kestrel, maybe the sign writer got a bit carried away! :)
      Thought I would add a bit of 'something' to the occasion!
      J

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  7. Hello, I've just come across your lovely photographs of the kestrel. Wonderful to see the male and female together, too. I didn't know about the name, or the poem, so enjoyed discovering those.

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    1. Hi Wendy,
      Thank you very much and thanks for the visit. Also, glad you enjoyed the added waffle! ;)
      J

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