Pool Bridge Farm near York is a well established fishery, boasting five picturesque lakes stocked with a variety of fish. What you may not know is that the farm is also a haven for wildlife such as owls, kestrels and foxes to name just a few.
When we heard that Mike, the owner of Pool Bridge Farm had wild kestrels on his land, we contacted him and asked if we could pop down and photograph them. He and his father have built a hide specifically for photographers to enable them to photograph the kestrels at close quarters, on feature posts with clean backgrounds.
We were met by Mike’s father at 8am. He took us down to the hide, gave us a quick briefing and then handed us a pair of tongs and a tupperware container full of pig’s heart and left us to get on.
For anyone who is thinking of photographing wild kestrels, I really can’t recommend Pool Bridge Farm enough. The set up is just perfect and the fact that we were left with the meat meant we were able to bait whichever post(s) we liked, to get the shots that we wanted.
During our day in the hide, we got to learn a lot about kestrels, their behaviour and to even recognise their calls.
We were also fortunate enough to be able to photograph a fledgling kestrel who was easily identifiable due to the fact that he was still fluffy and slightly lighter in colour than his parents.
As you can see from my images, the photo opportunities were simply amazing. For those of you who have never been in a hide before, if you are planning on spending the day in one, it’s best to take some food and drink with you as patience will be key. Also, depending on the weather, you might want to consider warm clothing and a cushion is a definite must!
It was a fabulous day and I for one can’t wait to go back next year, hopefully to photograph some kestrel chicks! For those of you considering true wildlife bird photography, you really can’t go wrong if you make Pool Bridge Farm your first port of call. Mike and his father couldn’t be friendlier or more helpful.