The kestrels of Sheepcote Valley are one of the most reliable wildlife sights in and around Brighton. There are several pairs, and they are regularly seen out hunting. They are also moderately used to human activity as you can see in one of the photos taken on 11th January in which a large dog is ambling within a short distance of a feeding kestrel. A small group of people were watching from a safe distance.
The female kestrel is the larger of the pair where they are shown together. You can also distinguish the male and female by their head colouring: the male has a grey 'cap', whereas the female's head plumage is patterned.
The short sequence taken on 26th April shows a female kestrel carrying a pygmy shrew (at least I think that's correct identification of the prey). I didn't see where she came down with it, but did spot the pick up and was surprised when continued to hover and circle for some time.
All these shots were taken with the Canon EOS 40D and most with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The 'shrew' shots, and those taken on 16th May, were with the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.
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