A few weeks ago Mickey and I cashed in some airmiles that had been lying around for a Falconry session at a local Bird of Prey Centre. The centre, in Ipplepen in South Devon, has many birds of prey from across Europe and further, all captive bred, and it is a truly awe-inspiring experience to get to handle and fly these superb birds. We spent the whole morning handling and flying buzzards, kites, hawks, falcons, several breeds of owl, probably some others that we forgot, a vulcher and a golden eagle!
The centre’s excellent guide also told interesting things regarding the penalties for hunting with a bird “above your station” in the middle ages. She was quite explicit on the punishments meeted out for such a crime – they are probably a bit too gruesome to go into here!
While the most impressive creature to have sitting on your arm was surely the Golden Eagle, special mention must go to the Peregrine/Lanner Falcon named Tal!