Owls, October Sunshine and Family Fun

art, birds, cute, events, Hoots, nature, Owls, photography, Shed

pine cone owls fun.JPG

Wow – what a beautiful month October turned out to be!  When I first decided to set the dates for two Family Craft Afternoons In the Company of Owls in October half term I must admit to having my fingers crossed behind my back for good weather – and it worked!!

Tuesday Oct 25th got so much interest from local families that I had to say it was full 10 days before the event – with 35 people booked in [adults, children and toddlers] it was certainly going to be a busy afternoon.

The children’s activity was to make owl masks and pine cone owls – and I think the adults enjoyed the crafts as much as the kids did!

Of course there was tea, coffee and cake for all – oh and hot chocolate too.  These yummy treats went down well, especially with the opportunity to toast marshmallows by the carefully attended fire 🙂

Sunday 30th was busy too, with a smaller but just as fun group of families – and the sun shone making it feel like a summer’s afternoon rather than the end of October.

The owls enjoyed meeting everyone, with Whisper and Peanut coming out so everyone could get really close up and personal with them!

Peanut was the star of the show flying in front of everyone, showing off what he can do – although he seemed to be a bit full on the Sunday …I think he is catching bank voles in his aviary again 🙂

spot-peanut-flying

Where is Peanut?

watching-peanut-fly

I am looking forward to starting regular Saturday morning Family Craft sessions very soon – just need to get the yurt built as I am sure the weather will turn more seasonal now it is November.

Meanwhile the owls are busy with private 1:1 bookings in their field, and will also be going out in the community, meeting people and making them smile.  Next community date is November 19th in St Austell town centre with CHICKS charity.

See you there!

 

 

 

Owls in Big Houses

architecture, events, Owls, photography

Well that was a beautifully busy summer!

Since last October my owls have visited Fowey Hall Hotel and Trenython Manor Hotel once a week throughout the school holidays and I was feeling very lucky when both hotels booked me for the entire 6 week summer break this year!

My business was taking off, and with my first event planned for August too I knew there was going to be lots to do for the next few months.   So at the end of June I began a weekly routine of Monday mornings taking an owl to Trenython Manor Hotel and Thursday afternoons visiting  Fowey Hall Hotel .

Whisper started the season off well, she really is growing up and living up to her name – quietly looking beautiful and demure while the families flock around her, mesmerised by her presence.

She also enjoyed the terrace view – tho it was wet that day so we didn’t go out.

whisper-at-trenython-manor-may-2016-2

Barn Owl conservation is the main theme of these sessions, and everyone is astounded to learn that these beautiful owls are found on every continent in the world!

Peanut the burrowing owl and Victor the spotted eagle owl also met the visitors at this old manor house, and on sunny days we could be found on the balcony overlooking the sea and Par beach – not a bad way to start my Mondays this summer at all 🙂

In fact Peanut got so used to the terrace that he took the opportunity for 40 winks!

peanut-sleeping-at-work-trenython-manor-july-2016

The architecture in both of these wonderful old houses is striking, and quite a fitting backdrop for my birds 🙂   Fowey Hall Hotel also had a short visit from Chaya my Harris hawk, here looking like she owned the birdbath!

chaya-at-fowey-hall-hotel-june-2016

With Peanut, Whisper and Victor taking their turns to wow the families and introduce the younger children to the world of owls we really were quite busy all summer long.

So yes, a very busy summer and my first event to do too – But we did it!

Now for my autumn plans…….

In the Company of Owls, Event No.1

events, nature, Owls, photography

Wow, we held our first evening opening to the public last Saturday and it worked really well!

Pnut and me low res

Of course Peanut the burrowing owl stole the show, as he flew cool as an experienced professional in front of the crowd.

The sun shone and there was a wonderfully relaxed mood in the field that afternoon as everyone enjoyed being in the company of the birds.  With tickets nearly a sellout I think I can call my first event a great success.

There was really amazing food cooked on site by Matt of

https://www.facebook.com/Wildfoodkitchencornwall/?ref=page_internal

Nettle falafels, pulled venison burgers and seared pigeon breast – perfect food for the event and I saw lots of people tucking in to it!

We were prepared for all visitors and the Gator proved useful in towing the food van in to place a few days before, moving all the heavy stuff including the new timber for the benches so the site was ready on the day; and finally giving my mum a lift up the field so she could join in the occasion too!

I had been so nervous, excited and apprehensive in the week leading up to the day.  With a long list of things still to do and a big question mark over the weather I was landscaping the ground, clearing brambles, making signs….so many signs…..and keeping the birds clean and ready to meet visitors.  We even had official t-shirts to wear: and one of my next jobs is to order some more as so many people wanted to buy them on the day – check out my shop page for these soon!

Of course I couldn’t have done it all without the massive help from my husband, daughter, son and good friends and they all were brilliant on the day too.

friends in the Owl field

My lovely niece Zinzi  was our ‘official photographer’ for the event and she has taken some wonderful shots – more coming as soon as she gets a chance to sort through them all. Check her work out at Westcountry Wildling here is an amazing shot of BB to leave you with – hope to see you at my next event in a few month’s time!

BB in flight low res

 

Busy Owls

birds, cute, Falconry, Harris Hawk, Hawk, nature, Owls

How time flies in the summer – especially with my owls, a hawk and a site to complete before my first ever field event on August 13th – that’s less than 2 weeks!!!

The birds are all moulting like crazy – it seems like I have more of their feathers than they do 🙂

IMG_4369

 

Peanut lost his last tail feathers last week and looked like a kid with gappy teeth!  He has been busy helping me with my summer sessions at Trenython Hotel and Fowey Hall as well and it seems it is all very tiring for a little owl…

peanut sleeping at work

Peanut still loves his cuddles, especially when we tickle him behind his ears – at least I think that is where they are!

Chaya, my Harris hawk, has been soaking up the sun at every opportunity.

sunny harris hawk

She is also moulting like crazy so I am giving her a rest and feeding her up – she has been a very happy, if a little fat, hawk and today I saw her new tail feathers appearing – much nicer than the one I found in her aviary the other day…she had definitely worn that one out!

Time to go and cut the grass…again…..and I can see the sun 🙂

 

Owls, Fairies and a Mermaid too!

art, birds, cute, fairies, Hoots, mermaid, nature, Owls, Owls, photography, Selfies

The two youngest owls, Peanut my Burrowing Owl and Whisper my Barn Owl, were invited to attend the Three Wishes Fairy Fair in the beautiful grounds of Mount Edgecombe House near Torpoint last weekend.  This was the 10th year the Fairy – or Faery to be precise – Fair has run, all thanks to my ‘sister-in-law’ Karen Kay.

Love Karen

Love the Fairy fair with Karen Kay

The sun shone on Saturday afternoon as I arrived with owls and my daughter, Hayley who was helping me by taking charge of Peanut for the afternoon.

Of course the owls got a lot of attention from all the wonderful people there, and everyone was amazed to see the owls so calm even with the crowds wanting to all say hello.  Whisper was so relaxed she even fell asleep on my glove – twice!

Whisper snoozes by the mushrooms

Whisper snoozes by the mushrooms

Whisper relaxing with the fairies

Whisper relaxing among the fairies

I made sure Whisper wore her special colourful ribbons for the day,  and I was amazed to hear how many people – or I should say faery folk – have an owl as their animal spirit!  I learnt a lot about faeries that day!

There was so much to see and people to meet.  However imagine how surprised Hayley and I were when we walked around a corner and found a mermaid!!  Yes, a mermaid!!  She introduced herself as The St Ives Mermaid. I introduced myself as The Bird Lady of Fowey, of course!…it was wonderful to meet her and she was so lovely to talk with.  Of course I have invited her to my In the Company of Owls event in August, I hope she comes – I have a paddling pool she could use!!

St Ives Mermaid meets Bird Lady of Fowey

St Ives Mermaid meets Bird Lady of Fowey

Mermaid and Owls

Owls and a Mermaid

Further down the field we came across this beautiful vintage wagon adorned with amazing artwork and carvings.  I think the owls would have quite happily moved in and stayed there!

Beautiful vintage wagon.JPG

Owls and beautiful vintage wagon

It really was a gorgeous afternoon, walking around the wonderful grounds of Mount Edgecombe House with the owls, sitting on the grass and taking in the sites and generally enjoying chatting with my daughter – all in the company of owls!!

Thank you, Karen, for inviting us.  We would love to come again next year!!

Love Owls and Faeries.JPG

Owls and Karen Faery Kay – thank you!

The Day Mum Came For Tea

Owls

A warm still Saturday afternoon – perfect for a cup of tea and chat with my mum in my Bird Lady Field.  So I started up the Gator and, after running out of fuel half way up the field and her having to wait and enjoy the view while I fetched my reserve can, she was soon enjoying the view with a mug of tea in hand!  I must get a photo of her in the Gator next time!

My mum

I made sure I gave her a grand tour of the work in progress: starting with the car park area which was waist high in bramble last autumn and now has room for visitors- I am trying to think of a prettier name for it.

IMG_2245.JPG

Carpark taking shape

The plants I put in with my daughter last autumn are coming in to flower and are becoming established, which means the whole area will look really lovely and be full of insects for the smaller birds too.

And what was a rather forgotten goat shed

is very close to becoming our new wash house with loo and shower facilities for owl visitors.  Lots of hard work by lots of people involved, and looking forward to our opening event on JULY 30TH. 4PM TO SUNSET. more details soon, I promise.

Top of the field the younger of the owls are happy in their semi-detached weathering when they visit the field.

Owl Semi.JPG

The owl shed is looking good and the gravel viewing area in front of the big aviaries is all edged with larch off-cuts from their build.

The sun has been shining most days, the Hawthorn is in full blossom and it is wonderful to be in the fields everyday.   It’s all very nearly ready to be open for events!

So here we go:  save the date: JULY 30TH. 4PM TO SUNDOWN. TICKET ONLY EVENT. More details soon.

A Harris Hawk called Chaya

birds, Falconry, Harris Hawk, Hawk, nature, photography

On Pancake day this year I collected my very own Harris Hawk.  After over 30 years of waiting I finally got a Hawk of my own – so very exciting and nerve racking all at the same time!  I love my owls and always will, but a Harris Hawk is a completely different bird all together.  Much more like a working dog in the way a relationship can be forged – becoming partners in nature.  As a child I dreamt of this day.

Chaya Harris Hawk

She arrived angry and disgruntled – her previous aviary had it’s roof blown off by the storm Imogen 2 days before, and with her owners moving soon they did not want to rebuild so put her up for sale.  She had only been with them for a few months and had flown free just a couple of times, hunting but not caught anything yet.

Still a young bird, hatched in 2014 at the end of June, she had not been trained or flown as much as she could have been so it was going to be up to me to bring her ‘in to her own’.  I had briefly worked with her early last summer and I hoped she may remember me as the person who had encouraged her to fly to the glove for food, and on a creance too.  However with her strong feet and attitude I really wasn’t sure if she did, or ever would!

Feb 2016 yellow feet Harris Hawk

She needed a name – Birdy was all she had been called before.  After searching through my usual Google pages of goddess names and the like I chose Chaya – meaning Full of Life in Hebrew ,with similar words in Gaelic meaning hawk like, and in Mexican meaning life giving.  A good strong name for a beautiful, strong female Harris Hawk.

She showed good spirit [or temper!] and was very keen for food so I quickly got her flying in the field on a creance [long 30 metre leash] while we got to know each other.

Chaya on creance.JPG

Chaya loves playing in trees and chasing squirrels, though still hasn’t caught one yet.  She is getting used to the wind too, after the storm she really did seem quite unnerved by the wind, especially strong gusts, but with regular flying she is getting stronger and more confident by the day.  We go out every day possible, wind or rain as long as it is not too rough!

 

Chaya loves company, Harris Hawks are very social creatures, so she is by my side most of the day – watching me tend my parking area, visiting friends or on her bow perch in my garden as I type my blogs.

She will, hopefully, live to the age of about twenty, and I look forward to our adventures together.  She is now flying free every day and has started preening my hair [which needs it after our walks].  I have found a good friend.

Harris Hawk flies over willow