Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Birds of Prey Experience

On Sunday we had the most amazingly memorable, uplifting, visit when we went into Cheshire to experience birds of prey.
 A perfect cold, Autumnal, rainy day! I'm still on high!
Find out all about it at The Stockley Farm Birds of Prey Centre, where the birds are usually flown, but through the Winter months the centre is closed, so they are now holding events at Bridgemere.

This first photograph is a fabulous fluke taken by DH as he held out his gauntlet to receive the bird and, with camera in his other hand, he swung his arm across and chanced a click. 
I think it looks just like a painting.
Gary and Pam were so informative and fun and so obviously loved their birds and cared for them so well. They told us so much about the birds habits and characters and we were able to hold and observe them close to. It was really amazing, and such a privilege, to be eye to eye with such beautiful creatures.
 A dream come true for me but one I know I will experience again and again!
You can spot Gary across the lake after he sent the barn owl across to us.
  I had expected the visit to be mainly observing the birds but it was really interactive.
These falcons are so streamlined and powerful and are faster than any creature on land, in fact 4 times faster than a cheetah! 

DH with a Harris Hawk
I fell in love with this young American hawk who looked just like a giant chick and was such a funny character.
He kept landing on our heads... cute!
This young boy was passing by with his family and Pam gave him a treat.... a chance for the Harris Hawk to fly to his name sake Harris.

DH with the little barn owl
This big fella weighed about 5lbs and was quite a job to hold up. I'm laughing as I had to watch him having his reward..... a day old chick which he gawked down and swallowed whole! Arrrrghh!
It was fascinating to watch his head swivel around giving him 360 degree vision.
The falconer, Gary
Another arty accident action shot.
With wings wet with rain, a little rest for this fellow before finishing flying the rest of the way.

It was such a drippy, rainy day but the fine rain on the cobwebs was Nature's art.

Afterwards we visited the Bridgemere Garden Centre, which is a HUGE place and was all geared up for Christmas. 
We had a mooch around their seasonal exhibits and enjoyed tea and cake in one of the several cafes before heading home after a great day out.


French Nanny said...

Oh for a garden centre out here with a tea room!!!!


Annie said...

Wow...that's what I call a wonderful day out. I love interacting with birds like that. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos....why not link them up to my week's smiles post?
Annie x

lisa said...

What an amazing day, Jo, you look right at home with these beautiful birds, such a pity it was wet for you though, we had lovely weather this side of the pennines over the weekend. I've had a look at the website, I think this might be something to look into, it looks great. The garden centre looks well worth a visit too, especially if they have cups of tea!!
Hugs Lisax

Twiglet said...

Wow Jo those pics are amazing. I love the wise old owls pic! lol. Your arty birdy pics really should be printed and framed! x Jo

tilly said...

what a fantabulous day out, you and Mr Jozart look well at home with the birds of prey, better not to invest in any though.... they may well carry off your curly girlies lol.......

mamapez5 said...

I wish we had places like that to go. Those polar bears and penguins are gorgeous!
The birds of prey are wonderful and in such lovely natural surroundings too. When I did a week's theme on owls with my nursery I invited a local man who ran an owl sanctury to bring some birds in to show us. It was an amazing day. I got to hold Morag, the eagle owl, and I couldn't believe how heavy she was. There was a tiny owl too for the little ones to hold, but I had to ask him not to tell them that the donations from their parents would be buying hamsters to feed them!
Well done on getting such lovely photos.
If you want a book to read to your grand children, I highly recommend Owl Babies, the story of Sarah, Percy and Bill. I was word perfect by the time I retired, and although it is so simple, you can fill it with emotion. The staff used to have tears in their eyes every time I read it! Ha! There was another owl one for slightly older children, but its name escapes me right now. I'll come back to you when I remember! Kate x

Helen said...

oh wow, those birds of prey are stunning!! what a fabulous experience - and I do love the "accidental" shots - they are wonderful! You could blow them up and have them on the wall.

fairy thoughts said...

Aw Jo what fab photos (especially the first one) those birds are sooo beautiful and funny that they should land on your head. I assume it was the owls head that did the 360 deg. turn not DH hehe

Lynne said...

What an incredible photo, Jo! We have several times seen the falcon man who does the east Anglian Game Shows, a real sight to see.

Eliza said...

OMG those birds are just amazing what an experience to have had I so wish I had been there too and then the garden with the water on the web just incredible. Thanks for sharing those amazing photos, fluke or not they are just brilliant indeed.

Hugs Eliza

Cardarian said...

I love the photos - amazing bird - really fantastic experience! I can believe you were on a high after that! So was Dave probably! I will have to put that on my to do list in the future!
Lots of hugs,

Neet said...

Jo, that looks fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing those birds with us - what an exciting time you must have had.
Lovely garden centre too - and a welcome cuppa and sticky bun I guess.
Hugs, Neet xx