Monday, 20 June 2016

Weston Air Day

Hello all,
Weston Air day took place this weekend, but it wasn't just Typhoons, Spitfires and Red Arrows that were aerial masters. No. There was not one, not two, but three stands with live birds: Parrot rescue centre, Avon Owl trust, and UK Falconry.
The Avon owl trust was positioned somewhat usefully, and was attracting many visitors. On show was a Long-Eared owl, Short-Eared owl, Eurasian Eagle owl, Tawny owl and Southern White-Faced Scops owl. And best of all, you could hold them.
First of all, I held a Southern White-Faced Scops owl, which is native  to South Africa. I will admit, it is a very "cute" owl, but you could still feel its talons through the glove.
After watching the Wingwalkers display, I went back for a second owl: a Long-Eared owl. Reinforce your trousers with Kevlar all you like Mr. Packham, but your thighs will still be raw! It's the eyes...and the "erectile nuptial plumes" (step aside Mr. Hughes-Games, you've met your match). Anyway, this was slightly more jumpy on the hand, but I could relax after being put on the spot to name the seven British owls, with vagrants, and I named them successfully...phew.

After my Long-Eared Owl, my brother then held a positively microscopic 6lb Eagle Owl; they can reach 10lb! What a bird...apparently, a few are nesting in Northumberland, from presumed escapee birds. Magnificent!
My only criticism to the stand is the humiliating names given to the owls; I mean, would any respectable Scops wish to be referred to as "Jaffa."

The UK Falconry stand also held some great birds, which you could hold, but I ended up watching the Typhoon...I would've gone back later, but they had packed up! Anyway, grumblings aside, the had a Blue-Winged Kookaburra (not sitting in the old gum tree), Tawny Frogmouth (different...), a delightful American Kestrel (the patterning really is exquisite; deserved of a place in the Royal Gallery), a Eurasian Scops owl, a Turkey Vulture and a Mountain Caracara! A great selection!



Not-so-silent flight
Silent Flight




Until the next post...
George



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