A few weeks ago, we had a call from our friends at the BMC after a climber had reported a kestrel nesting on Curbar Edge.
I headed down to have a look, and was tiptoeing towards the nest site when a female kestrel swooped low with a vole to the base of the crag. She disappeared from view before flying off, minus the vole, several seconds later. A chorus of screeching struck up, the unmistakable sound of hungry young birds of prey. I crept closer, and was surprised to see a bundle of feathers perched contentedly on a boulder beside the footpath, chugging down the remains of the unfortunate vole, freshly flown in just moments earlier.
"What are you looking at?"
I suspected that this chick had fallen from the nest. It was a good sign that it was still being fed, but it was very exposed, and I wondered if it would make it through the night's perils and predators. Up in the crack, two more bundles of fluff looked down at me keenly, before shuffling back comically into a sheltered crevice.
When I returned the next day the young fallen chick was no-where to be found and I began to fear the worst.