Eleven months ago we noticed that this pair of Common Kestrels (Peneireiro-vulgar) were investigating the local area, and last month we spotted they are still here. Sensibly however they have not taken up residence on the apartment roofs.
We are not too sure where they nest or even roost, however this abandoned chimney is a favourite perch during the day. It is one of only a few chimneys left in Olhão da Restauração, and looks quite different from all of the others. Every other abandoned chimney has a stork nest on the top, we are not entirely sure why this one hasn’t but presume the storks have not been able to bridge the gap at the top. It can’t be because the brick work needs repairs as there is a huge nest on a chimney not that far from this one, and that chimney looks like it will collapse at any moment. Fred Dibnah would be horrified!
These chimneys are a reminder of a once thriving sardine industry located along Olhão’s seafront. Most of the factories have long since gone, but there are a couple left. As you might expect though the factories that have survived are now in modern buildings and sadly have no need for brick chimneys.
The storks may not have been able to take up home here but the kestrels are here most days, just sitting and watching from one of their four perches. Occasional they swoop over the waste ground below, and once they put on a wonderful flight display. Unfortunately on that occasion I was too busy watching them to even think of grabbing the camera, likewise when there was a stork on the chimney and they were still perching below. However I did manage to capture this shot yesterday of one of them enjoying the thermals.
The female is the one on the left below, she is larger than the male and doesn’t have his blue-grey cap. The two of them are not as vocal as they were last year, but maybe that is because they are settled or perhaps we will hear them more as spring approaches. In the meanwhile I am quite happy watching them on their chimney as they keep an eye on us all.