Archive for November, 2018

Hunkering down.

It has been a difficult week weather wise – we have been grounded for the last three days although I did do a Harry Potter style party for a friend with ‘Bo ‘the Eagle Owl – apart from that I have been left with a feeling of frustration of not been able to get out.

I also put a tail bell and telemetry mount on a mates Harris Hawk. He took the opportunity to do it when the weather was poor so he would not lose a days flying. It is customary when a  bird is cast to give it a day off – feed it shortly afterwards – to get over the process and time to get used to the tail bell and mount. The bell is taken off before the moult which allows those feather to moult out and new ones to grow. At the beginning of the new season the whole process is repeated.

Tail bells are useful as a hawks have a habit of often shaking their tails from side to side when sitting – the bell rings and you know where the bird is – sitting in a tree for example or in cover. Often at rest hawks are motionless and the leg bells still . So they can be really useful. They can be put on falcons too – this is a more recent practice – as they do not move their tails in the same way as hawks and therefore just wore a leg bell or two.

Well my blog was interrupted last evening and the weather this morning has been bright and clear – the birds have all been flown and the whole process of daily flying has begun again – great.  I also have taken ‘Pete’the Kestrel from his loft – weighed him and fed him on the fist. He should be flying again in the next few days or so. He spends his down time in a loft even when flying but when his is moulting he is largely left alone and fed down a shoot.

Anyway here is picture of ‘Pete’ just taken this morning outside the hawkroom feeding on the fist. You can just see his smart new tail. We continue on.

November Update – lofts completed

Well as I mentioned the construction of our two new lofts is now completed and I have moved ‘Brian’ our lanneret into one of them. He seemed to appreciate the effort and promptly had a bath to celebrate! He can comfortably over winter there.

All birds are currently flying well – we had a busy period down at Thornbury Castle – thankfully the weather was dry with some welcome autumn sunshine and now we are beginning to look ahead at our Christmas schedule. I am hoping to get ‘Pete’ our Kestrel flying again soon. His moult is almost complete and having him back flying again will be great – he is a great addition adding variety to our display. He is also his big personality as I have described before.

Leah our older Lanner Falcon who will be 16 after Christmas is still a wonderful flier but lacks the stamina of her younger days – so we keep her flights shorter and fly her at home and Thornbury Castle which she knows so well. A kind of semi retirement if you like!

I leave you with a picture of her….

November update 2018

Well November is here and it is a lovely day – bright sunshine and not too cold. Have just come back from flying birds – huge number of buzzards around trying to soar. Falcons are not overly keen on them thankfully unlike my old falcon ‘Peggy’ none go chasing them – which is a dangerous activity.

We are about to get busy again – it is like this – this along with show enquiries for next year. Although we run a website with a very good google listing because of its provenance we still get many bookings through word of mouth – with is gratifying.

The refurbishment of the aviaries that I have been working on is completed – and soon I will move some birds in and start working on other elements of our mews or hawk quarters – it is a continual process but there is satisfaction in completion.

Anyway since I have had an enquiry for a medieval jousting event today I will sign off with a happy photograph…