Magpie Towers has been a pestilent plague pit for the last week with both of us full of a post holiday cold. I can't really grumble it's the first one I've had for a long time and thankfully it hasn't lasted long or driven me to take to my bed. Which meant on Good Friday I was up and out for the day despite the sniffles.
For my brother's big birthday last year I was a bit stumped because he's bloody hard to buy gifts for at the best of times. I finally decided to take a punt on an experience day that came highly recommended by Soo, and bought him a Falconry Experience at a local centre. There were a couple of different ones you could choose from but I decided to go with hawks.
It's taken him nearly a year to get round to using the voucher but finally we headed off on the one gorgeous day of the long weekend. We got there in time to have a look round
and then watch the 1.30 display. Which featured a stunning 4 yellow tailed kites and Ronnie the turkey vulture.
Nearly all the birds here have been hand reared from eggs, the owners have a license to hatch and rear chicks from stolen eggs that have been retrieved as well a to buy eggs legitimately. They also take birds where the owners can no longer look after them.
It was interesting to hear that kept well fed and properly exercised in captivity these birds can live for up to 5 times their lifetime in the wild. I don't particularly feel comfortable to see animals or birds in cages but I guess if the emphasis is on the well fed, happy and helping conservation I see the need.
Apparently the oldest bird of prey in a centre is a golden eagle who reached the ripe old age of 86! There's a goal a lot of us would happily wish to reach.
It was time for my brother to get hands on. He was shown how to hold the birds properly and then we were given a private tour with a bit more information about some of the species they keep. I have to say I did particularly like Loki the raven, very unusual to see a raven and yes they do use him in displays! though apparently he only likes to do shows in the summer and won't cooperate if he doesn't want too. He had all sorts of equipment and toys to play with, ravens being very intelligent birds they get bored easily.
We didn't get to see it, but his favourite trick is to hang himself upside down by his feet from the netting wings akimbo terrifying the unsuspecting public as they walk around the corner, which made me like him even more.
After this my brother got to fly a couple of birds
Final bird of the day was this gorgeous owl who's name I have forgotten!
I shall end with my latest internet purchases. I mean what else does one do when one is ill?
It was listed for much more than I was willing to pay, or anyone else it would seem because it didn't sell. The seller kept relisting and relisting it. They did drop the price a bit but not enough to tempt me so in the end I deleted it from my watch list.
When I was browsing last week, there it was again and this time at a much more realistic price, so I went for it.
Next up is a bargain leather bag I bought absolutely ages ago but keep forgetting to share, but now I shall for it deserves it's day in the sun too.
Finally an absolute stunner and another demonstration of why it is worth checking misspellings if you are looking for something in particular.
How about a frock or two? both Hell Bunny (who else?) and both under £20. Bargains that definitely made my cold more managable.