Kestrels ruffle some feathers at Arlington Reservoir natural beauty spot

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A PAIR of kestrels have jumped the queue in the feathered housing market and made a Barn Owl’s box their home at Arlington Reservoir.

They are now raising their three young chicks in the home, just yards from the offices of South East Water which owns and runs the site - where the environment and fisheries team is based.

More than 173 species of bird and numerous varieties of butterfly have been recorded at Arlington Reservoir, which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, including red rumped swallow, slavonian grebe and blue headed wagtails.

Emma Goddard, environment manager at South East Water, said: “We had to chuckle when we realised a pair of Kestrels had decided to use one of our specially-made Barn Owl boxes for raising their young, as it’s a first for us.

“They are literally metres away from our offices, and so it’s been lovely to see the family growing and the chicks getting ever braver, poking their heads out of the entrance, as they prepare to leave the nest.”