The Lesser Kestrels of Matera #8
It’s five o’clock in the morning and she’s calling immediately outside our window. I think she wants her mate. The tone is insistent and demanding. There’s a female Lesser Kestrel just outside our bedroom window in Matera.
The Puffin Whisperer has definitely booked the right room. We’re surrounded by Lesser Kestrels and don’t even have to move to see them close up.
Isn’t she beautiful? I particularly like one of their defining characteristics which means you can tell it’s a Lesser Kestrel and not a Common Kestrel; the white fingernails.
I shuffle up to another window and can see a dozen in the skies above us. A few of them fly past the cathedral tower:
There’s a male in distinctive plumage at eye-level to us.
The TV aerials dotted around make perfect perches.
Then something very exciting happens; a male arrives with an Italian Wall Lizard in its grasp:
The lizard has long-since stopped moving and is gripped firmly behind the head.
He lands on the wall in front of our small terrace.
He’s not about to let go of it. I suspect it’s a gift for a female.
This female is on the rooftop immediately opposite our room. I love the colours of the lichen and flowers which surround her:
The males have such smart plumage.
It’s not just TV aerials on which they perch. This is my favourite composition of a Lesser Kestrel on the weather vane:
We have all day to enjoy them, and a cold beer on the terrace in the late afternoon. Perfect.
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