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Lesser Kestrels in Ibiza??

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Offline Caribou

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« on: September 17, 2007, 23:21 PM »
Hi all I hope you might be able to help with my query.

I was on holiday last week in Ibiza and I think I may have spotted two Lesser Kestrels. I believed at the time that they were Lesser rather than Common Kestrels as they seemed smaller, slighter and the wings and tail seemed shorter than Common Kestrels. Also I didn't see them hover at all as Kestrels usually do. Instead they were flying about, seemingly hawking for insects.

This is causing me much confusion. I had never seen a Lesser before although I am familiar with Common Kestrel (which we see a lot of here in the UK) and to be honest I thought they must be Lessers, especially upon consultation with my fieldguide - habitat and behaviour seemed to fit. That was until I did more research on the web and looked at distribution maps - lessers are not shown as being in the Balearics.

I hope someone with local knowledge might be able to advise me on how likely it is to see Lesser Kestrels in Ibiza?

Many thanks  ???

Offline Dave

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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 11:57 AM »
Hi Caribou
I think Peter from SEORonda, might be the best person to answer this, but, according to my source, Collins, the Lesser Kestrel is accidental in the Baleares, you are perhaps more likely to see the Common. These two are quite difficult to tell apart, up here at Villafafila, Zamora, we have lessers in abundance, and they behave exactly the same as the Common., hawking as well as hovering.
By the way welcome to the forum, probably the first Caribou, we have ever had in Spain, apart from in the Zoos.
Regards
Dave

Offline lisa

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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 15:03 PM »
Like the new avatar Dave!
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 16:38 PM »
hi Lisa
Thanks
Yes I was feeling a little Reckless Rookless, so I thought why not
regards
Dave

SEO - Ronda

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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 23:19 PM »
Hi Caribou,

Lesser Kestrels as has been mentioned by Dave is a vagrant in the Balearics, so prudence would be to side with Kestrel. However, never say never as many a fine birdwatcher has learnt from experience!! Unless you have experience with Lesser Kestrel it can be difficult to determine/seperate the two species. I always think LK's are much paler underside and more 'elegant' looking, also the terminal band of the tail is normally pointed rather than fan shaped with Kestrel (apart from when Kestrel is in moult).

I suppose to summarize I would put your observation down to Kestrel. Both species can hawk insects, both hover and so with nothing better to go on, then if in doubt pick the most likely! Sorry I am unable to more helpful. :dancing:

Peter
www.spanishbirds.com

Offline Caribou

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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 10:09 AM »
Hi Guys,

Many thanks for the info, much appreciated.

I guess I'll put them down as Common Kestrels as the evidence suggests. As you say Lessers could be possible as a vagrant but in that case I imagine I would probably see a single bird and not the pair.

I was confused a bit by their behaviour (ie no hovering observed) but I suppose there was no need for them to hover if their diet consisted mostly of insects. They were living on ruins alongside feral pigeons (which is what also made me think LK), in contrast the majority of our Kestrels in the UK live in more rural parts and are usually seen hovering when hunting mice or voles.

I did think they looked smaller than UK common Kestrels but of course size can be variable and there could be a variance accross regions.

On a happier note I also observed Blue Rock Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and Audoins Gull at this location.

Thanks again,

Caribou