A Day with the Falcons
Just returned from a ‘falconry experience’ at The Falconry Centre, near Stourbridge. This was a gift from my daughter and rather a good one at that! In spite of a bitterly cold day the birds flew from my fist for a wide range of incentives. The little owl fed on tiny morsels of chicken, whilst the vulture gulped down (dead),day old chicks in one swallow. Having one of these birds delicately alight on your fist was remarkable; feeling the creatures weight and its’ movement as it re-balanced itself brought home yet again to me that these birds in particular are really not of this world but something very strange and special. As I held them it dawned upon me that they had no interest in me whatsoever, I was merely a convenient perch from which to spy out the next piece of food. I was reminded of the late poet laureate, Ted Hughes writing of a hovering bird of prey in his poem ’The Hawk in the Rain’,
“Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.
His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet,
Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.”