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A day to remember

bjs

By bjs

25 comments


And thats what it turned out to be .
Back in June my oldest son Paul informed me my fathers day present would allow me the opportunity to handle a Barn Owl something I have always wanted to do,so last Thursday we set off in amazing weather to visit Yarak bird of prey centre in Cullompton in Devon.
As we arrived the mist cleared and the Devon hills and fields were bathed in sunshine.
there were two other couples taking the day long course with us and the most knowledgeable young lady to take us through the day,i very quickly realized that all there were passionate about the care and well being of every bird in there care ,some birds had arrived after being in accidents and had been nursed back to health (one Owl came with two broken legs)its now walking well,others been ill treated and still needed many months of special care, every bird that can be are flown five times a week there intake of food is monitored and charted each bird is weighed every day .
My introduction to handing came fast and could hardly believe what I was being handed,my thought was would it stay with me but need not have worried.


Paul was handed one a little larger

Then the other extreme an American Sparrow hawk

From then on they were larger and a bit scary,but they had no fear of me even allowing me to hold them with one hand and take a close up with the other.


This is our tutor, her feeding and weighing charts can be seen in the background

12.30 a quick pub lunch and it was back to the heat of the fields to fly them free ,they are only flown before they eat ,so everyone was handed small pieces of chicken to bring them to us ,you tap the glove to attract them from person to person,the Owls are nearly asleep when they have flown around the field eating chicken at each stop ,i did not know they have no crop and there food goes straight to there stomach ,then it night nights just like my Jamie


After a while doing this we were deemed fit to wander in the adjoining farmers fields to see if the hawks would come to us


In case you think they were on a rope they were not and there only attachment is a small radio receiver in case they become lost.


To end the day on a high we were introduced to there golden eagle unfortunately only the owner John is strong enough to handle and fly this one and he was not on hand so to speak ,the size is awesome

We took around 120 pictures this being a small selection hope you enjoy my present as much as I did, 4.30 came all to soon ,but I slept well that night.

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Comments

 

Absolutely fantastic blog bjs - I love things like this. Birds are so amazing aren't they. And yes, I did enjoy your present, very much so:)

5 Oct, 2011

 

How fantastic Bjs. Wonderful photos of a lovely day. Would like to have had a go at that. Owls are lovely.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Oh what lovely birds! What an interesting day you had, one I'm sure you'll always remember. Thanks for sharing.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Lovely birds - I too love barn owls - and birds in general - so lucky to have this wonderful gift

5 Oct, 2011

 

Brian what a wonderful blog! I was open-mouthed reading it and looking at your wonderful photos!

thank you ~ and your son ~ that is most certainly a day to remember and treasure.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Thank you for sharing your great day out the bird's are fantastic, pictures eight and fifteen are my favourites :-)

5 Oct, 2011

 

Wow! How fantastic is that!? A truly wonderful gift, an experience never to be forgotten...

5 Oct, 2011

 

What a fantastic day you had! I remember a day, similar to yours, many years ago - it was magical! :o)

6 Oct, 2011

 

OH Brian, I am thrilled to bits for you and Jamie and the birds as well...what an AMAZING experience...I would Love that too...even if a little scary! My son Callum was terrified of large birds as a baby...I wonder how he would feel about this..I must ask him!

6 Oct, 2011

 

Aren't those birds just beautiful! A great present for you - and definitely a day to remember. :-)

6 Oct, 2011

 

I love birds very much although I am irritated when I see them killing one another for food even in my garden. Nature you may say. Humans also do it for other reasons. Agreed but why so cruel.

6 Oct, 2011

 

Absolutely loved your blog and photos,thanks for sharing a brilliant day with us.

6 Oct, 2011

 

Glad you enjoyed your day out...
lovely sunny weather :o)

6 Oct, 2011

 

Glad you enjoyed your present, what a lovely surprise, thanks for sharing your day with us, lovely pic's too. :o))

6 Oct, 2011

 

Wow, such lovely birds of prey, and a great experience.

6 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

What an amazing and unusual present Brian it's a day you will always treasure , I'm so glad it was nice / dry and sunny day for you ..a wonderful experience :o)

6 Oct, 2011

 

Brian that was a wonderful present and one you will always remember with pleasure, I absolutely love to see these beautiful birds, not sure whether I would dare handle one though.
Thankyou for sharing your day with us and also for showing us the fantastic photographs....

6 Oct, 2011

 

What an amazing day for you Brian and what magnificent birds to be so close too, certainly a day to remember. Husband put an owl box up on the outskirts of the garden a couple of years ago as we knew tawny owls were around. We were amazed when one nested but after we checked the box later in the year, there were just broken eggs in there. Suspect squirrels!

6 Oct, 2011

 

Fabulous blog Brian, thanks for sharing your wonderful day, loved all the birds but that Golden Eagle is something else ! !

6 Oct, 2011

 

Woow!! what a lovely present,what a wonderfull day out you had :)

6 Oct, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

Thanks everybody for your comments,They certainly were wonderful creatures to be that close to.We were reminded before first handling them that they were wild birds and as such not to use your right hand to touch them,however it soon became obvious the ones we were handling were very calm and used to being handled.

Dawn shame about the eggs, as many of you know Squirrels are the most destructive vermin I have to contend with,besides digging and burying peanuts and conkers in pots I see they have recently taken to biting off Rose buds and now next years Magnolia buds they just leaving the outer shells on the ground,and the more people feed them the more they breed for me a most time consuming problem,

7 Oct, 2011

 

That is annoying.

7 Oct, 2011

 

Brilliant Fantastic blog Brian. What a lovely gift. And a very thoughtful son.

10 Oct, 2011

 

How wonderful to be able to do this Brian. Such a handsome son you have there too.....I am so glad you had the chance to do this through and with your son. Great memory. Thanks for shring your great day with us.

16 Oct, 2011

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