After a conversation on Twitter (and if you are on Twitter, both Matt and Jamie are well worth following) recently, I was trying to see if I had any photos of a Willow Tit that landed in our garden a few years back. I was pretty sure the photos were disappointing, and I wasn’t wrong. This was probably the best:
But when you look through a collection of your old photos you can get a pleasant surprise or two, and I was pretty happy with this pic of a Kestrel over the United Utilities site at Lostock, Bolton:
I’m pretty sure I must have played with the brightness to get that contrast between bird and sky, but it has made for an effective and striking image. The focus isn’t brilliant on the Kestrel, but I still really like it. A professional would simply scrap it, but for an amateur it’s fun to get something distinctive.
My approach to wildlife photography is pretty kamikaze. I tend to run off hundreds, even thousands, of images with the intention of then searching through and culling for the best. Sadly, I tend never to get round to the latter bit, which is why I have a gargantuan external hard-drive stuffed with rubbish photos.
Anyway, I like the image here. Kestrel populations in the UK are pretty stable after recovering from persecution in the 50s and 60s. There is some fluctuation though, and I saw far fewer in the early part of the 2000s than I did when I was young. But the last couple of years I’ve seen a lot more, so hopefully things are nice and healthy for this beautiful little bird of prey.