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Baby Owl Learns to Fly

Warm Welcome at Newton St Loe!

Flying high with the Birds of Prey.....
Our informal gathering this week did not involve a great deal of walking and proved popular for a number of members we had not seen for a while. Keen to get together with the technology, we gathered in the drizzle at Newton St Loe Farm shop, eagerly anticipating a flying display of Birds of Prey, provided by West of England Falconry. For those unfamiliar with the facility, there are many opportunities for photographers and children to enjoy, including an informative museum of Falconry and an excellent café in which we loitered after the main event.

The West of England Falconry, based at the Grain Store just south of Bath, is a charitable organisation that specialises in the rehabilitation and education of Birds of Prey. The large barn-like structure is home to a range of owls from all over the world. Little and large, they greeted us with screeches or peeped out from behind perches, clearly unphased by the clicking paparazzi, eyeing us up with interest or preening their feathers quietly in corners. In other areas outside, a range of birds perched comfortably in the open air, providing ample opportunity for close ups of talons and beaks..

As predicted, the weather improved, and although occasionally it drizzled a bit, the overcast sky provided a not too bright backdrop for the excellent demonstration of flying by some of the birds under the watchful eye of a very engaging young presenter, who clearly loved every minute of her work with the birds. We learned a great deal from this young lady about the habits of hovering Kestrels and swooping Sparrowhawks, and we were very well entertained for an hour by her banter and obvious passion for all the birds, from the rooky Barn Owl that could barely fly , to the reluctant old Buzzard who knew all the ropes and would not be hurried. It was highly entertaining and it comes very well recommended from our members, retiring as they did to the comfort of the café and the cream teas, for a well earned chat.

This Friday on Somer Valley FM you may have heard a little bit more about us as an organisation through an interview with Richard Burgess that went out at mid-day. This is just one way we are increasing our involvement in local events and organisations, and we are really keen to be involved in the upcoming Midsomer Norton heritage events in early September. Look out for us in the T shirts with NRPS embroidered on them, as we will be taking photos of the events taking place, supporting the initiatives. This Bank Holiday weekend sees us looking to Cranmore and the E.S.R for some costume re enactments, the Bishop’s Palace for mediaeval antics and boat races on the moat, and the inevitable Terrible Tudors at Glastonbury Abbey, before the area is over run by the Monmouth Rebellion. We will be there for the fun and the photos as always.

Jenny Short 26. 08.2022