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Posted by: atowhee | September 13, 2018

KESTREL, THE SEASON AND THE VOLE

This morning the dogs took me to Joe Dancer Park for our walk. We arrived between the welcomed, enlivening rain showers.  The autumnal equinox approaches and nature is emboldening her color palette beyond all the many chlorophyll greens and the bold tints of summer flowers.

KESTRELIA

For the second morning we watched a male kestrel hunting the margins of the small wetland at Joe Dance Park.  Yesterday an Anna’s Hummingbird attacked and the drove the little falcon away.  Today he hunted unhindered.  The many Barn Swallows were concentrated on catching and SWALLOWing as many insects as they could.  They are building body mass before their long migration—some may end up in Chile.  Much of that flesh will be burned off before they reach their wintering grounds.

Here is sequence of the kestrel, first across the marsh, then flown to a perch nearby but the tiny branch and wind forced a bit of gymnastics.  A four ounce bird blown like a kite in the breeze .  Then he zoomed off across the soccer field.  Some of the shots give a view of beauty of the bird’s wings, frozen you can actually see the colors and white spots that just blur when seen in real time in real flight. Click on any image for full screen view.

One thing the kestrel is looking for, a big meal…and here’s one laying on the lawn…it’s a Townsend’s vole, apparently died of non-violent causes, perhaps drowned after recent hard rains?  These guys are normally nocturnal so I’ve never seen one before, dead or alive…and they lace the fields with wells and roads:T-VOLE DEADTVOLE ROAD

Barn Swallows, gulls, Turkey Vultures, crows…they’ve all learned to follow the mower:

BC FACING

Action at the old hornet hole, above.

The series of rain showers moving through have come with some fine cloud formations…gone the dull blue of clear summer days, or the gray haze of low haze and smoke.

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