Archive for December, 2017

December – Michael Davie falconry displays update.

‘Autumn is thrown down. Winter stands’ J A baker The Peregrine. It is 10th December today and the weather has been wintry with widespread sleet and snow all day – like an exert from Bakers diary. We have not flown the birds today – I do not like the birds getting cold and wet when a day off in the dry with plenty of food is the privilege of a trained falcon – while their wild cousins shift for themselves as Shakespeare would say. A lot of young falcons do not make it through the first winter – bad weather can prevent hunting with obvious consequences over a prolonged period – survival can be a question of good luck or some good fortune like an easy kill.

Anyhow our dog needs her walks so we have been out twice with her. I was surprised but delighted to see flocks of skylarks in the oil seed rape – whether they were resting together in the crop with the snow above them or feeding on small invertebrates – I do not know. They did not fly far when disturbed. There were also a lot of migratory thrushes feeding on a field not yet prepared for spring barley with the inevitable sparrowhawk gliding stealthily low over the field and off in to the gloom of the late afternoon. We also found a saturated wood pigeon that just about made it off the ground and into a tree. It would have been an easy kill for the two local buzzards that ‘still hunt’ from trees growing out of an old hedgerow that runs along one side of the field. Sadly no Peregrines today – although I checked the pylons – another day! although we saw one a couple of  weeks ago hunting and stooping at a woodpigeon – which was great. I am not sure it was a sucessful hunt although I did try to convince myself I could see the falcon a couple of fields away feeding on the plough.  We were in a slightly elevated position. Seeing the Peregrine was just wonderful. I leave you with a picture of madam.