At the weekend we took a family trip to the Birds of Prey Centre at Herrings Green Farm in Wilstead, for my, and my sister’s, birthday. We visited for a half-day falconry experience, which included handling and flying a huge range of beautiful birds of prey.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we arrived, but the staff were so friendly and relaxed, making us a cup of tea before sitting with us and talking through the day. It was fascinating to hear the history of falconry and its traditions from someone with so much passion! It was so infectious, and I think we were all super excited for what was in store!
We started off learning about and handling some of the smaller birds, while our guide Sean interjected with some interesting facts about falconry tradition. Did you know that Henry VIII was a keen falconer? Or that once upon a time you could face hanging for stealing someone else’s bird? Falconry is a cutthroat sport, don’t you know!
Once we’d taken a good look at lots of birds we were taken out for our first flight of the day with this impressive (and slightly heavy!) eagle…
We were able to give our arms a rest with some smaller birds after, including this adorable barn owl. It turns out that little Dawn here is afraid of horses, but that, apparently, is a problem that can be fixed within a week!
We then headed back to handle Marshall and Muppet, two adorable owls, and Fraggle, another rather proud looking eagle!
We ended with the grand finale – eagle Charlie’s first flight with his trainer, Sean, in a number of weeks and it was amazing!
The whole day was incredible. It was awe-inspiring to be up close and personal with such beautiful, natural creatures. A definite privilege! I would definitely recommend a visit to the Birds of Prey Centre to anyone and everyone!
If you would like to find out more about experiences at the Birds of Prey Centre, you can do so here. Really, you’d be silly not to!