Archive for March, 2018

March update

Well the good news is that the hawk bus ‘van’ went through its MOT this morning – without a problem unlike last year – so I am happy about that. We have just had a complete crash on the computer due to an update causing mayhem. Thankfully it has been put right now but it has meant a computer rebuild from scratch with some loss of data but we can survive – so far so good – it just shows how reliant we are on the internet.

Back to the falconry! all the birds are flying well and we had a nice Sunday display at Thornbury Castle – a return booking from 10 years ago. The weather was very pleasant with some warm lift on the light breeze available for the falcons and ‘Leah’ was just fantastic ranging far out gaining height and returning at great speed – a perfect way to end our display.

I have said previously events are now booking us for the summer ahead and some are hiring our falconry display for 2019 which seems a long way off. I sign off with a photo of the ‘hawk bus’ from Blenheim Palace with our t-pee wind resistant static display and birds.

Early March – snow

It has been a tough few days and once we enter very low daytime temperatures the two falcons have  heat from ceramic bulbs. It just keeps the frost off them. They should be ok anyway as they are adult birds and very hardy. It is first year birds that are particularly vulnerable to a complex condition called WTO and are best being fed up and turned loose into an aviary for their first winter. WTO is a condition where the wing joints can become swollen and inflamed and need immediate specialized veterinary care to prevent gangrene – as I said it is a complex condition but there is an association with cold. So for our birds it is a precaution.

We have been quite busy recently – relative to the time of year and apart from a being a rather long winter particularly – a prevalent feeling at the moment! it has been a good one.

Our dog has been down to Thornbury Castle and  she has been much appreciated by guests – who often have dogs of their own. We used to do a little demo with old gundog Brooklyn – who was such a lovely steady dog. Anyway ‘Grace’ has been coming with me because I did not want to leave her behind a couple of times and despite her rather erratic temperament she has proved to be very popular and she is sensational when on form – so so far so good! We do little training each day as part of our afternoon walk and it gives her additional mental stimulation.

Our walks recently have been interesting particularly in this cold weather as we have seen so many species that have moved onto farmland – having to range for food. We have seen Lapwings – which used to be a very common farmland bird but now rare, Golden Plover and a couple of Stonechats.  The severn estuary is not far away and one assumes this is where they winter.

Anyway I will leave you with a lovely photo of ‘Bo’ our Indian Eagle owl – to end this blog entry,