My best wildlife encounter by far last weekend involved a very friendly Kestrel. And when I say very I do mean very. We were having a spot of lunch sat on the rocks just around from Oxwich Point when Emma indicated that I should turn around pretty sharpish. I duly did and found that a Kestrel had landed on the adjacent rock outcrop, a position from which it was now studying us closely. It obviously liked what it saw as it allowed me to approach to within a couple of meters, something that is almost unheard of with any bird species let alone Kestrels.
Only on two occasions did it take to the wing while we were present. The first was to snatch a passing butterfly straight out of the air, and the second was to catch a Lizard that had been sunning itself on a nearby rock. The Lizard in particular was very impressive partly because I hadn’t even realised that it was there and secondly because I caught the whole thing on camera. Those of you who don’t wish to see a reptile being torn in two may want to look away now.
Simply amazing and definitely up there with my all time best nature moments. Eventually though all good things must come to an end and in this case we were the ones to end the spectacle as we needed to get a move on. One of our party was keen to get some fishing in so we moved about a mile further along the coast and set up at a likely looking spot. Barely ten minutes later and who should pop up again but the Kestrel! This time it had landed just next to our bags and if anything was even closer than previously. I’d like to think that it had followed us out of curiosity but we will never know for certain. Whatever the reason I consider myself incredibly fortunate.
Along with the usual Curlews, Oystercatchers, Cormorants and Grey Herons, Oxwich Point had one last surprise to throw at us. Whilst watching the wreck of the Solar emerge from its watery grave on a lowering tide the following immature Peregrine Falcon landed up on a nearby cliff.
Though not as tame as our fantastic Kestrel it was still way more accommodating than I have ever known another Peregrine to be. The reason for this soon became clear as with every step the bird took an accompanying bell would ring. A clear view of its feet explained everything. Unless evolution has taken an extremely strange twist then this is an escaped falconry bird, most likely from the nearby Perriswood Falconry Centre. So not truly wild but great to see nonetheless.