Archive for January, 2015

Happy New Year = falconry displays by Michael Davie 2015.


Well happy new year to everyone. We have just finished our Christmas period which has been quite busy with bookings. Flying on Christmas day is not much fun but it is essential prep particularly if the weather is good – which it was.

Boxing Day not so good but we have the Tudor Hall at Thornbury Castle which is very handy for wet afternoons and the guests do like it. In it we can fly the Eagle  Owl and handle the other birds, fly the harris hawk out of the door and generally play Kings and Queens and the Royal Court.

The following day we were back at the Castle flying this time outside for some American guests staying. We have our wild peregrines back wintering on the adajacent Church – which is fabulous. They catch birds and eat them here – so it is often snowing downy pigeon feathers from the high tower of St Marys Church.

In fact our own wild peregrines in Churchdown have been back hunting from nearby pylons – which they use as look out posts for feral pigeons their first choice prey. We assume they are urban peregrines following  town pigeons out from Gloucester looking for grain spill on the harvested fields . As the autumn progresses the fields are replanted we see less of them although there are hundreds of wood pigeons feeding on rape – plenty of hunting opportunities – like shooting apples in a barrel! but they are particular hunters. But great to see one sitting high up on the pylons or sliding from view like a black dart in a long dive to the horizon.

The next couple of months is a quieter time of year for us – time for any maintenance that needs doing – or I should say always needs doing. The birds of prey are still flown every day and so we are ready for any last minute bookings that may come in – but in general it keeps them in good order and is invaluable for any young falcons that are developing – testing weather conditions.

We have a Lanneret that will be flying shortly called ‘Brian’. He had a late moult and so has been in an aviary but he is clean moulted now and soon he will be flying and we can have a proper look at him and take him into the new season. Like ‘Pippa’ from last year – who  made great strides – and I will post another picture here of her flying at Belnheim Palace last year.

We are grateful to those who have already rebooked or booked again  for the year ahead and as usual we hope to have some new events to go to  – new places to present our falconry display with new people to meet. But in the meantime ‘Happy New Ylanner 3ear’

Photo by Ben Micklem.