Friday 22 September 2017

Camera catches kestrel using motorway CCTV mast as perch

A kestrel on a CCTV mast by the M5 in Gloucestershire.
A kestrel on a CCTV mast by the M5 in Gloucestershire.

Footage has been released showing a kestrel using a motorway CCTV mast as a perch.

The young bird of prey is seen checking out her reflection in the camera , being mobbed by a magpie and a raven, searching for prey and struggling against high winds.

The kestrel was first spotted on the mast at junction 11a of the M5 in Gloucestershire in October.

Highways England released the video after this year's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Traffic officer Leigh Goodchild, from Highways England's regional control centre in Avonmouth, was among the first people to spot the kestrel.

She s aid: " We've grown quite fond of our feathered friend since she started visiting the camera.

"The platform seems to give a good view of the surrounding area and potential prey - on one occasion she returned with half a mouse which she proceeded to swallow complete, tail and all.

"We've also noticed she's rather obsessed with her own image, which she probably thinks is an equally nosy kestrel in the camera, but her inquisitiveness has given us some good close-ups.

"She's squawked and attacked the lens a few times as well but when that happens we try to discourage her from hurting herself by tilting the camera skywards.

"Her visits certainly brighten up our day and make a change from the traffic."

The RSPB estimates there are around 46,000 breeding pairs of kestrels in the UK, and the bird is on its amber list of protected species.

Press Association

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