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New Year's greetings, a trapped kestrel and frosty morning!

Date posted: Monday 10th January 2022

New Year's greetings, a trapped kestrel and frosty morning!

A Happy, Productive and Healthy New Year to all!
Woke up on the morning of 6 Jan – Twelfth Night, Epiphany – to a heavy frost, clear skies and a bright early sun rising over the horizon, so whipped down to the allotments for a quick ‘winter wonderland’ photo op!

It did look beautiful, with a low mist hanging over the native deciduous hedge along the SE side, the sun slowly appearing over the church and everything thickly coated in hoar frost.

It didn’t last long, reverting in the afternoon back to the overcsst and dull skies that seem to have dominated the past few weeks. Another bright day of sun yesterday brought out the plotholders, as well as the crowds of Kingston shoppers!

Last week a couple of plotholders spotted this kestrel trapped in a nearby fruit cage: ‘It was flying freely inside the cage, which is quite large, but when it wasn’t perched handsomely on the lawnmower handle it was hurling itself at the mesh and clinging on upside down as the photo shows. It could have damaged itself, and certainly would eventually have become exhausted in there.’

Luckily they were able to release the bird by opening the door and encouraging it to fly out. It appears to have flown in through a gap above the door. It’s unusual for such a large bird to get into a cage like this; it’s usually pigeons and smaller birds getting trapped inside fruit or veg cages, causing damage to produce and to themselves, sometimes with fatal consequences if they can’t get out. A notice has been posted:
To minimise risk of birds getting trapped in netting and in fruit cages:

  • check your fruit cage netting regularly for holes and to make sure the sides are well secured. Pigeons and smaller birds are adept at getting in under netting but are not always able to find a way out and can damage your produce and/or themselves, sometimes fatally if they can’t get out.

  • Stretch netting tautly over frames as birds can get their claws entangled in loose netting and unable to free themselves.
  • Take netting down after you’ve harvested your produce and check for holes and tears.