The western side of Portland is the less favourable for walkers when compared to the eastern side. There are no cliff paths down to the shoreline; no wild goats; no hidden coves or ruined churches. The western side is a clifftop walk passing some bleak looking concrete buildings and, for the most part, not much else.
Whilst the western coastline of the island does not have the interest of the eastern side, it was here that we were lucky enough to see something that I had never seen before – a pair of hunting kestrels. When I spotted them they were some distance away. I fixed my zoom lens on my camera and took a number of pictures, but even the best was fuzzy and disappointing.
I felt sure that they would fly off before we got to them, but whilst they separated and started hunting from different spots both continued to move along the coastline in search of prey, allowing us to get close and observe.
They hovered on the air currents, allowing these to take them slowly down the coastline. After a while they would fly back up the coast to their starting point and start the process again, ever alert for movement below which would signal prey.
Then, all of a sudden, one of them dived – almost too quickly for me to react.
It shot down to the scrub below, where it suddenly fanned its feathers out and hovered a few feet off the ground, clearly searching for whatever had made the sudden movement that had attracted it.
It suddenly veered towards a clump of plants which obviously offered more protection than the open grass. It hovered again and then pounced into the thick of it.
Again, it was all so quick I hardly had time to react. Had it caught anything? I was unsure; it was shielded from view by the greenery. It stayed there for a few moments and then flew out again, returning to the higher ground to begin its patrol once more.
Walk #83 Statistics (of which this post forms the final part):
- Date of Walk: 10 June 2015
- Walk #83 total distance covered: 4.15 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 704.09 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!