What a terrible day today turned out to be.
I flew the male and female Kestrels together, these have been reared together, trained and flown free together. I was suprised there for when the female Kestrel turned on the male Kestrel and chased him out of the field to the nearby tree line.
To my dismay, from behind the tree line came two Kestrels that started a turf war with my Kestrels. The female Kestrel stood her ground, but the male Kestrel was chased down wind until he was a dot in the sky.
I was not overly worried, as it was highly unlikely the Kestrels would kill each other and my Kestrel had telemetry on.
Imagine the horror that hit me when I later found my Kestrels telemetry on a track, somehow the kestrel had lost the telemetry.
Starting my search where I last saw the Kestrel provided no clues, no kestrel to be found. Returning to the flying area also left me empty handed. The most worrying part of this, the weather is cold tonight, just 5 degrees at 9pm.
Tomorrow I will be up before first light to resume the search, i will keep this blog updated on the progress.