Kestrel Portrait

Female Kestrel

Kestrel Portrait

My hubby and I braved the elements on Saturday to go to the Cheese and Chilli Festival near Guildford on Saturday. We were all hoping for a break in the rain to watch the GMG Falconry display! No such luck, complete washout. The birds were out on perches under gazebos but they were still getting a bit damp and chilly. I did manage to take a few portraits and I really like the way the damp feathers brought exaggerated detail to this female kestrel’s expression! She had puffed her feathers up to get a bit more insulation from the damp and cold. Such a beautiful bird but she really wasn’t impressed. The phrase “fed up” actually comes from falconry language. It was used to describe a bird that had eaten enough food that it wasn’t interested in flying anymore, literally fed up! The birds on display certainly looked completely fed up but not from feeding. Birds of prey really can’t fly in such heavy rain! Although oils spread through their feathers give them a certain amount of weatherproofing, a wild kestrel would have been hunkered down in a tree or rock roost waiting for the rain to pass. We decided that it was too wet to stick around and returned to our own roost to wait out the weather! So my choices for today’s Fotospeed challenge were limited but I can’t really complain when I had this lovely kestrel.

18 comments on “Kestrel Portrait

  1. Wonderful photo to get the details of this kestrel, Sarah. I loved hearing about the origin of “fed up” too, fun fact and completely appropriate here.

    • Thanks Jet πŸ™‚ There’s a whole array of phrases that date back to the practice of Falconry! I learnt the craft when I was eleven, flying a male kestrel which is a little smaller than the female. I keep my passion for the birds going by staying in touch with a number of rescue and Falconry experience groups. I’m also blessed to be able to watch a number of our wild raptors locally πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Mark πŸ™‚ I adore birds of prey!! I really love seeing wild birds but also having connections to lots of raptor rescue and Falconry experience groups is great πŸ™‚ Interacting with a bird of prey is something very special!

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