Today I went back to the Chilli and Cheese Festival to see the raptors flying. First Hazel and I went down to find out what time the display was being held, then we went for a walk along the river. After which, I parked her comfortably at home and the camera and I whisked down for a quick outing. What a treat!
I did see (most) of the flying display, but by then knew I already had my shot. What I loved about this little guy is how well he demonstrated the partnership between falcon and falconer. It's something that fascinates me every time I see displays like this.
I hope I've got the facts below all right - I think I have but wasn't actually writing notes, just using my rather woolly brainbox ;)
The man is Paul Gray, head of GMG Falconry. A very calm gentle presence for the birds and totally in control. The bird is a male peregrine/saker cross. Paul is holding him on his left wrist. His right hand is sorting out the bird's hood out of shot. The birds have a bell on one leg and when flown carry a tracker on the other. In Paul's mouth are antennae for the tracker, presumably one for him and one for the falcon. When a bird comes into the arena it is hooded to keep it calm.
Because of this close bond between falcon and falconer I am entering it for the latest BlipCentral challenge. I realise the challenge is more geared to the photographer's connection with the 'animal', so this may be thought to be outside the remit. Oh well, I just have to hope it will be allowed to qualify.
Hope your weekend's been a blast. Enjoy your evening xx