New residents at Lemsford Springs

Kestrel chicks © Barry Trevis

A pair of kestrels have settled in one of the nest boxes at our Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve.

Kestrels hovering over our countryside and road verges were once a common sight. However, since the late 20th Century, kestrel populations across the UK have been in decline, in some areas like here in the South-East, the decline has been significant. This has led to the kestrel gaining an unfavourable place on the amber list of conservation concern in the UK. The reasons for the decline are mainly habitat loss, decreasing prey populations and a lack of nest sites. 

Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve

Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve

This year, one of the nest boxes at Lemsford Springs became home to a pair of kestrels. A few weeks after their arrival, the two kestrels are now a family of six. Over the past weeks, the hard-working parents have had their work cut out to feed four hungry mouths!

Follow the kestrels' story below.

Special thanks to photographer Peter Finney (photographer) and Lemsford's Volunteer Warden Barry Trevis. Barry and Peter followed the kestrels closely over several weeks and kindly supplied us with these photos and videos as well as regular updates about the kestrels' wellbeing.

© Peter Finney 

Female Kestrel at Nestbox

Inspecting the new residence © Peter Finney

Jackdaw on kestrel's nestbox Lemsford Springs

The new neighbours seem a bit nosy - and noisy! © Peter Finney

Kestrel male flying at Lemsford Springs

The male is on hand to help rear the young © Peter Finney

Male kestrel with vole at Lemsford Springs

He provides food while she is incubating the eggs © Peter Finney

Male kestrel leaving nest box at Lemsford Springs

More voles for the hungry mum-to-be! © Peter Finney

Male kestrel in tree fluffed up

Looking after a family is hard work © Peter Finney

Kestrel flying away from nest box with vole at Lemsford Springs

She devours the voles he brings her in a nearby tree. © Peter Finney

Kestrel chicks in nest box

Four healthy chicks have hatched! © Barry Trevis

Kestrel with chick on nest box at Lemsford Springs

More work for the parents as the chicks are growing up © Barry Trevis

Kestrel chicks in nest box

The chicks are in moult growing their juvenile plumage © Barry Trevis

Kestrel chicks getting ready to fledge

Getting ready to fledge the nest! © Barry Trevis

Juvenile kestrel in tree at Lemsford Springs

Off you go, little ones! © Barry Trevis