news – end of February 2017.

We have been hunkered down all day with Storm ‘Doris’ raging outside – so no flying just too windy. This would have been the last official day at the community centre using the adjacent field to fly our birds something I have been doing for the past 30 years or so. It is to be used for the new Doctors Surgery. So mixed feelings – naturally – for the greater good I guess is my feeling but also sadness.

It is undoubtedly a great loss as it has been ideal for what we do –  a busy environment with lots of people around to keep the birds tame. We have other places that I use but the community centre field has always been Michael Davie HQ as it were. I will include a picture of me and Sprite the Peregrine with all the colour drained out to give that ‘set in time feel’ with the community centre field in the background.

Bookings are now coming in and it is always uplifting when we have plenty of inquiries – of course I am always on hand for display requests at Thornbury Castle. This effectively means the birds of prey are flown everyday of the year weather permitting in readiness.

On my daily walks no further peregrine sightings but lots of skylarks on the stubbles that remain unploughed – this is a real treat and just shows the influence agricultural practice/crop rotation has on birdlife. It is a reminder of my youth when they were common along with other birds such as lapwings. I have also seen a couple of Red Kites recently always appearing to be travelling from the Oxford direction westerly towards Wales – or the other way – possible to pick up a husband or wife. Thankfully Buzzards and sparrowhawks are often seen along with Kestrels – though the latter less often. Tomorrow hopefully will be less windy.

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