Forest Falconry

Yesterday I finally got to go on the falconry experience that Dave bought me for my birthday last year (getting married and our honeymoon kind of meant it got delayed by a few months!). I had such a good time!

After a short introduction to some of the birds, I got to fly Whisper the Barn Owl, who was absolutely gorgeous. I have always had a thing for Barn Owls – I think they’re incredible birds and so unique looking. I’ve flown a couple previously so it was great to have a quick play with Whisper – he didn’t disappoint!

He is so photogenic! Anyway we then stopped for a much needed cuppa (it was freezing outside yesterday) and a chat with some of the other people on the experience before heading back out to fly a Kestrel!

This is Kevin – I love his name! This is the first time I have had the opportunity to actually handle a Kestrel, so I was thrilled! Wasn’t expecting it at all. Kevin was fantastic – it was amazing to see him up close and he was super friendly.

It was really surprising to see how much the birds could eat. Kevin in particular ate a couple of chick legs from each of the participants (I think there was 5 of us flying) and then a whole chick at the end, which he saved for when he went back into his aviary. I really wasn’t expecting him to be able to eat so much though – he only weighs about 150g!

Once Kevin had gone away for his lunch we got to take Peewee the Harris Hawk for a walk in the woods. We were all warned that he would likely end up on our heads, and he didn’t let us down haha! It felt like a super spiky head massage!

This part of the morning was really good fun. I have had the chance to fly Harris Hawks before but never in a woodland environment, so it was really cool to see Peewee dodging in and out of trees and seeing how agile he is.

Last but certainly not least, we got to bring out Coco the Asian Brown Wood Owl, and he was absolutely beautiful. Again, this was a first time for me in a sense of flying and seeing! Apparently Asian Browns are related to our British Tawny Owls (but look a bit bigger to me) and the markings on him were spectacular!

We flew Coco on the training line, as he’s had some time off. He was excellent, though in true owl fashion decided he was only going to fly when he wanted to haha! The Asian Brown Wood Owl is definitely now in my top 3 favourites…Barn Owls, Great Grey Owls and then these beautiful creatures.

So that was my fantastic morning! Thank you to my lovely friend Fiona for braving the cold and coming with me and taking pictures – I’m glad you enjoyed it. A big thanks to Forest Falconry for having us (I would love to come back and do a full day with you at some point!) and to Ant for making it such good (and informative) fun. And lastly thank you to my wonderful husband for giving me this gift!

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