Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol CymruNational Botanic Garden of WalesNational Botanic Garden of Wales
Garden blogs

Kestrel makes surprise appearance

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Kes – the comeback kid

A kestrel has been spotted for the first time here in nearly 20 years.

It was first seen by Chris Clayton, one of our Tuesday Conservation Volunteers, about a fortnight ago near our Llyn Canol lake. But last Tuesday and since then it has been seen hovering above Cae Blaen – the field of grazed pasture you look over when enjoying the view of the Tywi Valley from Principality House.

Prior to this sighting, the only formal record we have of kestrels here was from 1998. They have declined across the UK as their food sources of small mammals, small birds and amphibians have declined

Luckily, Cae Blaen is part of our organically-managed Waun Las National Nature Reserve and has a well-stocked larder of small creatures.

Older readers will probably remember seeing kestrels hovering, as if suspended in the air, above motorway verges but that is now a much rarer sight than it used to be.

I don’t know how long this ‘motorway falcon’ will be seen hovering in the sky over Cae Blaen – we can’t control our wildlife – so if you’d like to come and look for it, I’d recommend you come as soon as you can . . .