Local Heart, Global Soul

November 4, 2014

Swooping In On A Crowd Pleaser…

Filed under: Cornwall,ENGLAND,Pendennis Castle,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer we visited Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England, and had the  good fortune to be there the weekend a medieval jousting tournament was taking place.

Just after we arrived, a falconry display began in the large cordoned off paddock and the crowd grew quickly as people gathered round.

At various times during the display, the falconer pulled volunteers out of the audience.

They started with a young boy in a red striped tee-shirt who looked excited, then nervous when the big leather glove engulfed his hand and lower arm, and then ecstatic when the bird glided in and landed on the glove.

A man in a red hat was chosen as the next volunteer and the falcon swooped in very photogenically, coming in in an almost slow motion landing that once again left me in awe of nature and how the “engineering” of birds and their mastery of flight works so beautifully. Then the call came for someone who could run really fast. (That’s me and my crutches out then.) A young lad in a yellow tee-shirt fitted the bill and after some instruction about what was going to happen next,  was handed a rope onto the trailing end of which was attached dummy bird.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

He started to sprint down the field, at the other of of the field the bird of prey was let loose and it didn’t take long for the moving target (the bird, not the boy!) was spotted and  the falcon swooped in for the “kill”.

I was lucky to get photos of the falcon within metres of the dummy bird and then on it.

In the last part of the display the falconer swung another , far smaller dummy bird around in huge arcs in the air, this time a different bird was set loose (I forget the name) but it was one that doesn’t catch prey on the ground, but prefers to intercept it’s meals mid-air.

The huge arcs that the dummy bird made were quickly scoped out by the bird of prey, who made large circles around it, keeping itself facing the sun so that the other “bird” would have difficulty spotting it.

It then semi folded itself up as it dropped from a height like a stone and seized the dummy mid-air. All of the birds of course earned  real food reward afterwards and the crowd certainly appreciated the display. We also enjoyed it very much and although our kids especially enjoyed the other children taking part, they were definitely not brave enough to volunteer themselves. Mind you, neither of them are very extrovert in this respect and are never keen to put themselves into the spotlight. They obviously inherited the “happier behind the scenes”gene that Himself and I share.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

1 Comment »

  1. Now, that would have been fun. I bet the kids loved the event.

    Comment by lulu — November 4, 2014 @ 2:10 pm | Reply


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