Bathing Kestrel…

26 12 2012
American Kestrel - Luke Tiller

American Kestrel – Luke Tiller

Today I was treated to a fantastic photo opportunity whilst going out trying to snap some pictures of the various White-crowned Sparrow subspecies that hang around down in Eaton Canyon: pugetensis and gambelii. Not much luck as usual (why do they love shady spots so?), but I did manage to spot a rather stunning American Kestrel hanging out on a nearby Lamppost.

It has rained here fairly significantly the last few days so the paddock that he was hunting in down at Eaton Canyon Equestrian Center was pretty wet and full of little mini puddles. After hunting for a few minutes he decided it was time to cool off and dropped down into the puddles for a nice refreshing bath (I hope that you can make out the droplets of water in the next shot!)

American Kestrel - Luke Tiller

American Kestrel – Luke Tiller

I slowly worked myself into the right angle for the sun and crept a little closer to the bird. He was so intent on bathing he barely noticed me and by the end of the shoot I found myself lying on the somewhat soggy ground using the bars of the paddock as an impromptu camera rest (top tip I have been given by a few great bird photographer friends – get down to their level). I hope that no-one was watching me at this point, as they probably would have thought I was crazy. Still, I think it was worth while looking a bit ridiculous after looking at the results.

American Kestrel - Luke Tiller

American Kestrel – Luke Tiller

After taking a little time to dry out in the warming sun (allowing me time for a couple more pictures), the kestrel flew up to the phone wires to carry on his days routine. He seems to have been hanging out for a few weeks in the local vicinity so hopefully more opportunities come along to shoot him, I’m not sure I am going to get so lucky with the setting though. I guess it raining isn’t such a pain after all.

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4 responses

26 12 2012
Stacy

One of my all time favorite raptors! Thanks for sharing this jewel of a bird with us!

26 12 2012
underclearskies

Thanks Stacy – one of my favorites too – it was a big treat to get to see this bird up close like this.

20 01 2013
Larry

What a treat to see a kestrel from that angle-great photos!

21 01 2013
underclearskies

Thanks Larry – appreciate the positive feedback – just checking out your Big Jan posts – looks like you aren’t too far off the magic 100 mark – nice!

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