Falconry At Lacock
There was a great turn out for the Falconry Day at Lacock Abbey on Sunday. It was led by Jonathan Marshall, seen here with his amazing golden eagle Samson (the star of the BBC Earthflight film). Samson is a 12-year old rescue eagle, now too tame and friendly to be returned to the wild, and about to be bred with an eagle from the Hawk Conservancy Trust called Delilah (this is almost too good to be true, so I may have misunderstood Jonathan's commentary). He had brought along five different birds of prey, all seen in display, perched on stands in the cloister or in the parade of birds.
In the displays, things didn't go entirely to plan. The Harris hawk was mobbed by nesting crows, took refuge in a chestnut tree and wouldn't return. This meant that the American kestrel, Squeak, who had a penchant for sitting on people's heads, was in danger of being eaten by the hawk during its display. The young eagle owl was discombobulated by the strange new location and was also distracted by crows, children, noise and the Abbey surroundings and so also flew into another tree for the duration. Unfortunately, this meant that Samson could not be flown, lest he devoured the small owl. The peregrine falcon was joined by a local falcon during his display (possibly Eric from Calne's church) but still performed outstandingly, and it was a great day.
During my picnic lunch I was joined on the log I was sitting on by a friendly Smokey-alike for company. I nicknamed her Whitetip, due to the end of her tail.
Consecutive Blip #027
Crouch The Harris Hawk With Jonathan
Quinn The Peregrine Falcon With Jonathan
The Indian Eagle Owl (The very nearly Blip)
Lacock Abbey Under The Spreading Chestnut Tree (After The Event) (Pentax 17-70mm)
A Falconry Day At Lacock Abbey, 13 May 2012 (Flickr set)
Lens: Sigma 70-300mm
One year ago: New Poppy #2