SIGHT TO BE­HOLD

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

The piece in the au­tumn is­sue about bird­ing by nar­row­boat cer­tainly struck a chord with me. In late July, we were re­turn­ing from a trip to Bris­tol on our nar­row­boat and moored one evening in an iso­lated spot on the south­ern Ox­ford canal. While I was set­ting up the bar­be­cue, I be­came aware of a lot of call­ing nearby and, stop­ping to look, re­alised that there were Kestrels fly­ing low over the field next to our moor­ing. A few min­utes of watch­ing re­vealed that there was a nest in a tree no more than 200 me­tres away and an adult was bring­ing in food for five fairly ad­vanced ju­ve­niles. This was fas­ci­nat­ing as all five ju­ve­niles could fly but wouldn’t ven­ture more than 50 me­tres from the tree. We saw some feed­ing tak­ing place on the ground, but ul­ti­mately, they al­ways re­turned to the tree and mobbed the adult as it re­turned with food. This fab­u­lous spec­ta­cle went on all evening un­til it started to get dark and we saw the birds again in the morn­ing be­fore we set off. I took some pho­tos but un­for­tu­nately I never caught all five ju­ve­niles in one shot. Andy Todd

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