Standgale, Windhover, Windsprite, Windcuffer, Windfucker. Or “Kestrel” as I would proudly exclaim as a child in the back of my parent’s car. “Kestrel!” every time that iconic hovering silhouette appeared above the skyline, my enthusiasm never and still hasn’t waned.

The former titles are all old and localised names for this sublime falcon. Others also cited by Robert MacFarlane include “fuck-wind” and “bell-hawk”.

Last week as storm Freya gave way to storm Gareth even this wind specialist seemed tired of the 75mph gusts blasting through Burley in Wharfedale. Despite the bluster, I decided to walk out and see how Burley’s wilder inhabitants were dealing with the onslaught of storms.

At first, I missed this chap. So out of place, Surfing on a low branch behind a drystone wall, half taking shelter, half keeping watch for any easy prey that may scurry below him. This was the polar opposite from the air glider I was so used to arching my neck up to see, but it was a no less majestic either.

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