Hawk Walk

Today saw me out with my dad and nephews at South Cave Falconry. We previously visited to see one of my nephews fly a hawk at the end of the Summer. For Christmas we booked a hawk walk for my dad with space for one other to share the experience. The hawk walk takes you from the centre through the woods with one the centres handlers.

As you go the hawk leaves your arm to explore the branches and returns to your arm for food. My dad had his turn on the way out.

The hawk explores the trees, stumps and the ground. On the way out we were heading uphill, so the hawk mainly stuck to short flights between branches and back.

Then on the return walk I took my turn with the glove and the hawk did slightly longer glides as we headed back down hill.

We had a Harris’s Hawk for our experience. These are beautiful birds found through South Western United States to Chile, Argentina and Brazil. They are sometimes found in Britain, where they have in all likelihood escaped from falconry centres. They live in woodland habitats as well as semi-desert. So the woods around the centre are not a million miles away from their natural habitat. They exist on a diet of small birds, mammals and lizards. Within the woods today the hawk found the remnants of a few unidentified mammals distracting him from the walk. Harris’s hawk is unusual in that it will hunt in packs, where as most raptors are fairly solitary. They will hunt in family groups giving them the chance to catch larger prey than they otherwise could on their own.¬† They are popular amongst falconry centres for the comparative ease to train in comparison to something like owls, which take much longer if they can be trained at all. Harry Potter has a lot to answer for with people thinking owls will make god pets.

Truly a magnificent bird. A wonderful shared experience I would recommend treating someone to.

Summer Falconry School

Today saw a large family outing to see one of my nephews help in a falconry display.  This was the culmination of a Summer attending South Cave falconry for lessons.

A few of the birds.

The last time we visited was just before Alice was born and the vultures were due to arrive. It was good to see these spectacular birds that sadly are becoming more endangered. Vultures carrion habits are important for stripping dead animals which helps stop disease spreading. Yesterday was vulture day and it’s worth spending time admiring these birds.

Alice took my dad round to explore. As well as the birds of prey they have a petting zoo. Alice seemed quite interested in the wallabies.

We saw the birds in flight.

Nephew Jacob helped with the display.

Jacob pictured with the kestrel he has been flying over the Summer.

Alice walking with Amy and Jacob.

South Cave falconry deserve praise for the work they do looking after these amazing birds. Many are rescued from owners who didn’t realise what effort training would be. The Summer school has given Jacob experience’s he isn’t going to forget soon. So if you are in the Hull area please pay them a visit.

Carnival day 2

Today we returned to the park for another day of carnival. This time we brought my parents, sis and nephews. The nephews were excited to see the birds of prey, particularly the peregrine.

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Alice enjoyed a walk in her harness.

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The boys has a bounce around in the inflatable balls. Jacob got knocked over by another lad almost as soon as he got in, but took revenge soon after.

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We saw the birds of prey display again. This time we saw the seagulls attacked. Quite nice to see them bullied for a change.

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The boys enjoyed the twister.

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And got a bit windswept.

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While Alice ate her yoghurt biscuit.

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In the Memorial Gardens a brass band was playing in the band stand and we met Alice’s other cousins.

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Another nice day out in Hornsea.

Carnival

Today was the Hornsea Carnival parade. Not quite the spectacle of Rio or Notting Hill. More a celebration of English quaintness.

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We saw three bears accompanying a juvenile offender.

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We saw Morris Dancers. For non-English readers Morris Dancing is a form of folk dancing where you tie ribbons and bells to yourself and prance around. It isn’t generally an activity you’d admit to on a first date or for that matter in the first year of a relationship.

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There were a lot of craft stalls: wood carving, rope making and jam, chutney and pies.

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In the arena area we saw a bird of prey show. However the bird wasn’t having any of it mainly deciding to sit in the trees.

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At the side the birds rested on their perches. It was nice seeing these fantastic feathers fiends for free.

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Live music played at the bottom of the hill with a eclectic mix of covers from Green day to Van Morrison

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Back at home Alice still wanted to be a butterfly with her backpack on. Tomorrow the carnival is still on so we’ll see what other eccentricities we see.

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