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 🙂

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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!

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

It’s All About BB – my Eurasian Eagle Owl

birds, Hoots, nature, Owls, photography

BB King – a very fine name for a very fine owl.

BB King

For I am BB King

BB came to be mine on the 14th of May last year, the day his namesake died.  He was looking for a new home as his keeper was retiring.  A local bird sanctuary had no room for him – but I did!  He did not have a name other than Owl….not good enough, I thought.  Now it has to be a fine name for such a magnificent creature so I started looking [or Googling to be precise] names of Gods and Kings.  The Eurasian Eagle Owls are one of the largest of all owls and have a wonderful soulful hoot.  Their Latin name is Bubo Bubo.

I struggled to find a name for him, then heard a news report on the radio announcing the passing of BB King – so it had to be.  BB = Bubo Bubo.  King of Soul = best hoot I have heard other than in the Disney movies!  Check out his hooting –

In Geneva earlier this year I spotted this guitar which was the real BB King’s, and it was signed by him!  I need to frame this photo and hang it in my BB’s aviary 🙂

BB King guitar

This Spring BB has certainly settled into his deluxe aviary and he is even trying to make a nest!  He is 5 years old [on April 19th] so is going to be looking for a mate – maybe I should put an ad in the local paper for him!

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As anyone on the dating scene knows it is important to look your best, and keeping an eye on his weight is part of BB’s beauty regime.

Eagle Owl weigh day

BB loves being outside in the field – enjoying the wind ruffle his feathers while he takes in the sights,

and in his aviary he sometimes looks so funny!

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We love you BB, you rock!!

So Far, so Shed

art, nature, Owls, Shed

I am loving my shed.  From a second hand purchase found in St Blazey last year, we took it down and put it back together in the field – in a bit of haste as the ground wasn’t really level, but it was a start.

Garden Shed

So now I have somewhere to shelter from the weather and weigh the owls – very important as this quickly tells me if they are healthy, hungry or fat!

Owl scales

 

 

 

 

 

Owl weight chart

I can also make cups of tea – and of course have a place for my Owl Advent calendar [thank you little brother].

Owl shed kettle on!

Owl advent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, after a lot of hard work on a really windy day with my daughter’s boyfriend who wheelbarrowed loads of gravel up the field to make a solid base… …

shed base ready

…And with a big THANKS to the Fowey Lankelly Rugby team who incredibly picked it up and moved it last weekend for me the shed is now on solid ground – and doesn’t wobble when anyone goes inside!!

Shed on the moveShed halfway thereShed landing

Today I have made a good start on sanding down the outside and putting some colour on the old wood.  Beach Hut blue works well in the field, I think 🙂

Shed Beach Hut BlueOwl Shed in a field

 

Owl Selfies

birds, Hoots, nature, Owls, photography, Selfies

I seem to have gathered lots of photographs of my owls over the past 8 months – [WOW!!! I’ve had my owls for 8 months now!!] …… loads of Peanut…

Why is he so photogenic?!

Thought it was time I shared them with you – and a really close up video of BB hooting 🙂

Peanut  I love this photo taken by my niece, Zinzi…

Peanut with my smiley nephews and niece… and me in my hat…

…at Christmas and in the house..

Casper and Cam

Our son with Casper, a young Barn owl we reared…

Victor portrait.JPG

and Victor in portrait poise…

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and happily home again…

Now listen to BB King’s soulful double hooting – warming up for Spring!