In March this year we spent some time on a conservation friendly farm photographing kestrels and hares. At that time a pair of kestrels had a nest full of eggs, so we returned this month hoping to see some chicks. The kestrels had been very successful and there were 5 chicks. For the first couple of days the chicks remained in the nest tree, taking only short test flights out and back but not landing on any of the perches in front of our hide. But we had plenty of opportunities to photograph the adults. The female visited most often.
The male tended to visit quite early in the mornings then go off and hunt.
On the morning of our last day we arrived at the hide to find a chick on the ground. Later that morning several of the chicks were flying and occasionally visited the perches, demanding food from their parents.
For the hares early starts were needed as first thing in the morning they came out of the long grass to stretch, wash and feed.
As light levels improved more and more hares came out into the open.
Some of the younger hares were very inquisitive and came quite close.
Many of the hares moved into a maize field to feed.
One of the hares had a day-time resting place, known as a form, in the maize field. After a while the sun came out and the hare settled down to doze on and off and was quite difficult to find if you took your eye of it.
Our evening sessions with the hares started around 4pm when again they left the safety of the long grass.
With bird song filling the air from dawn to dusk and lots of mayflies gadding about we experienced some atmospheric mid-summer days.