and 14 months later…

birds, Falconry, Harris Hawk, Hawk, nature, Owls
Whisper beautiful Barn owl. Bird lady of Fowey

Whisper, my missing Barn Owl

… and here I am busy with my birds in June 2019.  Since last year we have moved house, though still have my Owl fields in Fowey, built new aviaries, tragically lost my little brother and now look after our 3 nieces too.

So when people say ‘are you busy?’ – the answer is a definite ‘YES!’

Oh, and Whisper nipped out of her aviary about a month ago and headed down the beautiful Fowey River Valley, without so much as a thank you!  After 4 years of tender, loving care too!

 

She was a very good weight and regularly caught any rodent that made the mistake of running into her home. I think she was ready for a mate; we are putting an owl box high up in a conifer just in case she is still around.

We only moved 4 miles up the Fowey River Valley to a beautifully secluded spot.  Perfect for the birds and with the plan of hosting some private bird experiences there in the

Flying with the Bird Lady of Fowey

Loki loves his new valley

future too.

Aviaries ready for winter

My new aviaries looking good in the snow

It is more sheltered and has easier access than the field – although to free fly the hawks across the open fields is a wonderful experience when possible!

Our home is now a converted cow barn, and we have renovated the old piggeries into four very smart looking aviaries.  They have turned out really well; we used the original slate for most of the roof and made the most of the large old slate walls and granite troughs that were still in place.  Loki loves his en-suite.

Now, if only June would dry up… 🙂

Busy Birds

art, birds, cute, events, fairies, Falconry, Harris Hawk, Hawk, Hoots, nature, Owls, Owls, photography

Training and caring for my birds certainly keeps me busy, and I try to make sure the birds keep busy too.  The past few months have seen the birds entertaining families while they get creative in the yurt; hosting summer feast nights; giving people the thrill of having a bird of prey fly to their glove for food and taking part in several bespoke photo shoots.

The feast nights brought lots of new people to the Owl Field in August.  With the Keep Cornwall Fed chefs and Kim’s Kitchen cooking up some delicious meals we will definitely be planning more for 2018.

Photography sessions have also been a big part of our activity, and the cows like to join in too and surprised Maryna of Photography by Maryna!  She got her bag back with only a little cow slobber on it!!

So if I ever wonder if I am doing the right thing – I look at my birds, reflect on how much we have achieved together, and know that I am doing exactly the right thing…then I put the kettle on!

Cold in the Sun

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

We have had some beautiful days this winter, bright sunshine while the frost on the ground crunches underfoot.  Today the skies are grey and it is wet and windy, which means that I am inside and have time to write this blog – a good thing… though I would rather be outside in the fields.

hawk-at-home

Hawk at home

 

Chaya and I have enjoyed some stunning days together, and she is getting used to me taking my phone out of my pocket to photograph her – now she doesn’t think it is her food!

long-shadow-hawk

January shadows

Chaya looks so stunning against the bright blue winter sky, I am in awe when she is flying free.  She is such a free spirit and will soar overhead, suddenly swooping into a far field after something she has seen – I rarely see what she is after.  I wait a couple of minutes and then whistle [I can whistle very loud] and she comes soaring back, often so close I feel her wing brush against my shoulder.

We have had some visitors in the field recently, and Whisper was on her best behaviour for a special birthday 2 hour Owl Experience just before Christmas [available to book anytime, check out my Shop page and give me a shout!]

Whisper flies so beautifully, and so silently, she leaves me speechless.

Whisper loves the twilight, and her plumage looks even more stunning in the low winter sun – especially late afternoon when the sun is setting.

And Peanut, well, he had to come in and join me for a coffee the other day, just for the company of course!  He loves sitting in the sun shining through the kitchen window while I rub his ear.

Then he roused – ruffled his feathers…I took this photo on my phone – love that you can see Peanut’s point of rotation!! Crazy dude, we love you Peanut!!

peanut-whirl

Peanut Whirl

See you in Feb!!

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!

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!

IMG_3648.JPG

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!

IMG_3590

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