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!

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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!

Getting Creative

art, nature, Owls, willow

So many ideas of what to do.  The space in the field is looking really lovely, especially since my sister-in-law cut the grass again.  I didn’t know that to have a go on a ride on mower was on Cheryl’s Bucket List, but as soon as she mentioned it I booked her in to mow –

Mowing a Meadow

Mowing a Meadow

now she can tick that one off and the field looks fab!

It’s beginning to take shape with the lawn appearing out of what was 20 years of grazing pasture – any gardener would be proud of it.  So now I am trying to decide where to put some colourful planting and keep bringing cuttings from home.  A lady in my village was giving away loads of bedding plants: ox-eye daisies, geraniums and aquilegia which will all help to fill the space, with some left over to brighten up the parking area too.

At the farm there is a load of willow ready for coppicing, so I did!  I took total advantage of a friend who was visiting my brother for a few days and, with Silky in hand went for it.  Blue supervised.

Cutting Willow

Cutting Willow

We then carried the willow into the next field and started constructing a large canopy/arbour/shelter in the top corner where the view is stunning and is the best place to sit to catch the sun.

Getting started

Getting started

We started with the main uprights to get the shape.  7 in all, tied with one bit of string and the rest we just weaved into it’s self as we went.  Jo dug the holes for the uprights while I secured them and trimmed off the excess.  Of course Blue made sure we were doing it right and Pete was on hand too – all in all it was a grand afternoon’s work – apart from the gas on my camping stove running out so we couldn’t have a cup of tea….doh!

Lazy Dog

Lazy Dog


Nearly Done

Nearly Done

Now we wait for the willow to grow and keep on weaving in the shoots.  I have planted an Americana Honeysuckle to grow over the top which will look gorgeous and smell wonderful too.  All it needs now is a large bench.

Willow Done

Willow Done

The ‘port-a-burrow I made a few weeks ago is now finished and Peanut was introduced to it just the other day.  He really wasn’t sure at first, I mean, why should there be a burrow on top of a table inside a house?  With a bit of food to tempt him in he soon got used to the idea and it will come into full use now that winter is finally on it’s way.

Spot Peanut

Spot Peanut


Burrow Inspection

Burrow Inspection

The burrow was really handy to take along to Fowey Hall Hotel for two Meet Peanut afternoon family tea parties over half term.  Peanut did really well too on his first public engagements, and of course everyone loved him.  It was wonderful to give the families a close up and personal experience with an owl; seeing him fly for food and being able to touch him and feel how soft his feathers are.  I also put together a craft activity: pine cone owls on the first day and owl masks on the next.  The pine cone owls turned out well…and I even did one in Halloween colours to be seasonal!

Pine Cone Owls

Pine Cone Owls


Halloween Owl

Halloween Owl

Owl

Hello BB King and Victor

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As the heat of the summer chills into autumn the two oldest owls of the pack are coming out of their drowsy siestas and taking a bit more interest in their surroundings.

Actually what is the collective known for a group of owls?  A hoot of owls maybe?? Or a hush…or a swoop or a flutter?  It is a cast of hawks….a funeral of crows, and my all time favorite collective noun is a kaleidoscope of butterflies!

Victor as I named him, is a wonderful 5 year old African Spotted Owl.

African Spotted Owl

Victor

Previously he lived very happily at the North Somerset Bird of Prey Center with his lovely mate of several years.  Each year they would carefully build a nest and lay their clutch of eggs – however they never managed to hatch a single one, and earlier this year the female quietly passed away while sitting on their latest brood.  It was decided that Victor would benefit from a change of scene and I was very happy to give him a new home here in Cornwall.

Victor has not yet flown to me, but he is very happy to sit and watch the world go by as I sketch him.  He makes a great still life model!

Victor the model

Victor the model

My other ‘semi- retired gentleman’ is BB King, a stunning Eurasian Eagle Owl – the largest of all owl species in fact.

For I am BB King

For I am BB King

He needed a new home as his owner wanted to retire himself and, like Victor, had also never been flown to the glove or actually stood on a glove at all.  He came to me in May this year, the month the singer BB King died.  As his Latin name is Bubo Bubo and he is the largest of all species the name just had to be BB King!

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BB has settled in well, is about 4 years old, very chilled and also a great model for sketching.  The top photo was taken just this weekend and was the first time he had sat on that post – he totally loved it and sulked when I had to put him back in his aviary!