Quod oculus meus videt

By GrahamColling

Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus}

A day of surprises.  Firstly the weather, which provided a dusting of snow first thing this morning.  It wasn't going to be enough to thwart L's intention of a ride and I was going with her to help her across the road.  Surprisingly, as we drove the few short miles to the stables the snow on the ground got thicker and thicker, until it was quite clear she wouldn't be riding anywhere.  Our only thought was that as we climbed towards Cannock Chase we passed the margin between where rain turned to snow.

Instead we were pottering around, cleaning out the stables, refilling hay nets and generally tidying around as well as making sure the horse was OK. 

I took a walk up to the woods to capture a few photos and was excited to see what I thought was a buzzard on one of the barriers onto the forest tracks.  I thought my field skills were improving as I got nearer and nearer until its head turned and I knew this wasn't the normal birds of prey we might see hereabouts. It was then I noticed a man nearby and realised he was exercising the hawk.  We had a quick chat, and I was introduced to a female Harris Hawk.  Its partner was in the woods nearby but was quite content to stay out there while a stranger with a camera was nearby.

After that I walked up into the woods, capturing a couple of extras before meeting up with L.  We then popped to the local cafe for a bacon butty, before wending our way home in another snow shower.

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