A Sunday in August with St. Austell Photography Group

art, birds, Experience, Harris Hawk, nature, Owls, photography
Willow is the focus of attention

The sun came out after a week of heavy showers, traditional Fowey regatta weather, and the St Austell Photographers’ group enjoyed 2hrs in the field getting wonderful shots of my birds relaxing and flying.

Here are some of the photographs taken on the day by Barry and Chris

Aren’t they amazing! They were a friendly group and I look forward to welcoming them again, maybe on a frosty winter day next time for contrast.

2021 and Business is Flying!!

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

While I am sure the birds have enjoyed nearly a year of pretty much being allowed to kick back and relax, they seem equally interested in seeing people in their fields again. My concerns that they would become unsocialised have proven to be unfounded, thankfully, and I am glad to say that the private booked sessions are running again, safely in the open air.

The Spring weather has been glorious and it has been wonderful to greet visitors and share the field, and my birds too of course! Christmas gift vouchers have been cashed in and people have been pleased to be allowed to go somewhere new and do something different, as you can see by their beaming smiles ūüôā This week I have also hosted two visits by Tywardreath Playgroup. It really has been lovely to see the kiddies running around exploring, laughing, giggling and asking SO many questions! It was wise to suggest they split into two groups, and I love how the new seating circle worked. For those of you who have visited my field you may remember I had a yurt in that spot….time moves on, as does the yurt which is now in a field near Exeter, and the footings have been moved around to create this new space. The toddlers running around have flattened the rabbit diggings brilliantly!!!!

With a new owl joining the team we are looking forward to a more sociable year than 2020. Meanwhile, here is Willow my 3yr old Barn owl and Gracie the new team member, also 3 and a Northern White-Faced owl.

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!

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 Рso 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 Рbecoming 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 РBirdy was all she had been called before.  After searching through my usual Google pages of goddess names and the like I chose Chaya Рmeaning 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 Рwatching 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