I was recently fortunate enough to encounter Pembrokeshire Falconry at Picton Castle, as part of a trade day with Pembrokeshire Tourism. I had already bought an ‘Owl Walk’ as a gift for my parents as a Christmas present, but we had yet to use it, so this was a great way to see what might happen at Picton Castle.
The venue for our hawk adventure was Picton Castle, a fairytale castle just outside of Haverfordwest, which is open to the public giving guided tours and has 40 acres of ground to explore, plants to buy and a fabulous cafe serving the best Tapas! If you look back through my blog, you’ll see a piece written on my visit there last year.
The guys at Pembrokeshire Falconry are really caring about their birds and have great stories to tell you. Their latest aquisition is an American Eagle, which they are in the process of training-which is a slow process to ensure they have a happy bird for the length of its life. To find out more about Pembrokeshire Falconry and how they look after their birds, then please click: http://www.pembrokeshire-falconry.co.uk/
As you take the walk around the grounds of Picton Castle and through their woods, you are given a history lesson and will be amazed at the facts that you will encover…so many of our sayings and words are derived from Falconry over the ages. For instance, ‘mantle’ as in the mantle over the fire place- mantlepiece it went onto be, is derived from Falconry. When the hawks(and I saw this myself) go in for a kill, they spread their wings right out and around their prey to stop other birds pinching it, this is called mantling, and you can see how the form they make is similar to that of a mantlepiece over a fire-I’ve taken a picture of it, just as the hawk was landing. The hawks, when I watched this were following a dummy rabbit that the guys in Pembrokeshire Falconry had trailed on a piece of string to make it look like a real rabbit from above!
Other phrases such as ‘under the thumb’ , ‘wrapped round his little finger’ and ‘old codger’ all come from Falconry, but I will leave you find out how they came about when you take your own Hawk or Owl Walk!
Pembrokeshire Falconry can be found out and about around the county, offering displays at other venues as well as individual events-if you get a chance, then do take the opportunity to get involved.
I can highly recommend it!
This is me holding the male Harris Hawk!! I ended our adventure, not with a breakfast but with yummy Tapas coutesy of Maria at the cafe in Picton Castle. For more info on Picton Castle http://www.pictoncastle.co.uk/