I have often seen kestrels on the cliffs over the years but in the last month or so I have seen this lovely boy over the field beside my house and sometimes perched on one of the tilting telegraph poles that support the scalloped lines along the road that swerves and follows the cliff tops.
Boy kestrels are much smaller than girl kestrels. I saw one of those formidable ladies up the mountains one time and couldn’t even recognise it as a kestrel she was so damn big. It makes me admire the average boy kestrels chutzpah.
I took a couple of snaps of my new neighbour as he perched on the wire over my house. He was looking at my little birds around the bird feeder though normally kestrels hunt mammals. I then did these pictures from those photos and as I painted, because painting forces us to look deeply, I became quite mesmerized by how beautiful he is.
I am guessing this kestrel is a young one not because I am an expert birder but because he looks so fluffy!And because the yellow band around his beak, the rim around his eye and the lovely yellow feet looked so shiny brand new they made me think of the bright yellow grab bars on the newer Bus Eireann buses! Strange I know but even stranger it didn’t take away from the whole effect. His beak looked like it was made of polished pewter and the markings on his tail feathers, his wings, echoed chinese calligraphy but his eyes were the best. Beautiful, deep liquid black, intense, present.
I hope to see a lot more him.