Thanks to Ceratopia Books' involvement with Martin Bradley, we were invited along as special guests to the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover yesterday to watch their Falcons at Sunset display. An extra special treat for us was being taken into the bird hospital where we got to meet two, incredibly young and incredibly noisy, black kite chicks and a Southern Boobook owl chick, of which the latter took great pleasure in nibbling our fingers, which takes some courage when you see its beak!
We then went to join the display itself, which was utterly fabulous, despite us all getting an utter soaking ten minutes before from a supposedly unforecasted downpour. We got to watch a tiny, but lethal, merlin, got repeatedly buzzed by vultures, saw a tremendously impressive flight of a gyrfalcon, but, in my book, the star of the show was the peregrine falcon that, just by luck, performed an astounding stoop that levelled out along the line of spectators, meaning we all not only got to witness the speed and power of this beautiful bird, but we got to hear just what it sounds like as it streaked past at great speed barely two metres in front of our noses.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust works extremely hard to protect and preserve some of the most fascinating birds on our planet, so if you've not visited before it's well worth a visit to see their work, meet the birds, and enjoy a display. Half of the profits raised from the sale of Martin's book Top Gun Of The Sky go directly to the Trust, and Martin is also supporting them where he can with his new book Dusk Until Dawn. Both books are published by Ceratopia Books and are available direct from the trust, on Amazon, and at the Ceratopia shop.
Thank you to Penny and the team at the Hawk Conservancy Trust for a very special and memorable evening.