11 December 2008

Awesome Weekend- Part 2


The second part of our awesome weekend on Sunday was the very awesome day of Falconry that I had organized for Ben’s 30th Birthday. We had the best day- it was so much fun to watch and hang out with the beautiful birds and ferrets. We spent all day with falconer Bob Edwards, two ferrets and his two Harris hawks- the female Tweed and the male, Richard. We were back in Hunningham for the day (where we lived at the beginning of the year) which is such a beautiful part of England.

The day started with a very clear frosty morning (it had been -7C overnight, so it was very cold!). Hunting involves releasing the ferrets down rabbit holes. The Hawks sit on branches high above us and watch for any prey. When a rabbit gets flushed out the hawks swoop down and grab it with their talons and then tear the skin around their neck to kill them. They are so fast and so clever. When we were walking around looking for warrens and prey they would fly along behind us. We would hold up our leather-gloved hands and let them glide to us for a treat of a piece of chick. They wear telemetry trackers so that if they fly too far we can find them. The young male hawk, Richard is a bit naughty and obsessed with food, so at one point he flew off and caught a baby pheasant and we couldn’t find him for a while. The female hawk, Tweed was very clever and seemed to really love the chase and hunt. The ferrets were very cute, well behaved and loved to duck down the rabbit holes- they seem to know exactly what to do. They also wore telemetry collars and when they are underground and we can’t find them you can use a beeping ferret tracker to find them.

We had a very successful day, catching a pheasant and a rabbit which we were allowed to keep. Ben will cook us a game stew or something with them. We both had a great time and Ben really enjoyed his birthday present. Awesome!


The lovely barn owl we handled before heading out falconing.


Ben the falconer with his hawk and box of ferrets.


Tweed flying along beside us. The weather was perfect- look how blue that sky is!


Ben releasing the ferrets down a rabbit hole.


The hawks waiting in the trees for the rabbits to run.


Tweed with the pheasant that Richard had actually caught first...she’s in charge!


Me with one of the lovely little ferrets.


Tweed flying to Ben to get a piece of rabbits liver- the normal end of the hunt routine. They loved the liver!


The end of our awesome weekend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great 30th birthday gift for Ben. I can just see him - right in his element. Good catch too! The birds look fabulous, and so do both of you :)