YteneWeb The Weirder Side Of Life…

September 10, 2012

Weyhill – September 2012 – Take 2: Flying Kites

Filed under: UK,Wallpaper,Wildlife — admin @ 10:48 pm

Weyhill have a fabulous collection European Kites. One of the more spectacular parts of the summer demonstration program includes flying something in the region of 8-10 kites at the same time. Often as not, if the preceding vulture display hasn’t cleared the flying grounds, they quite like to join in, too… But the kites are something else. These slight, graceful birds primary diet includes insects. They are sufficiently nimble to catch their prey on the wing, and have the ability to transfer their catch from talon to beak without landing. Not only is this quite remarkably dextrous, it’s also energy efficient – the effort returning to the skies after a landing is not to be underestimated.

To simulate insect feeding, one of the falconers, will shoot small scraps of raw chicken aloft with a catapult… I’ve yet to see a missed catch. Highlight of the display occurs near the end, where several pieces of chicken will be fired upwards simultaneously, bringing together a swoop of Kites that dart upwards in pursuit of their food, only to separate out in a “star-burst” formation. Yes, there’s a certain amount of training going on here, and the feeding process gets imprinted over the days, months and years… but you can’t take away from the most dazzling display of ariel finesse. Not the easiest of birds to capture with a photograph, however!

Canon EOS7D with 70-200mm f2.8L

September 9, 2012

Weyhill – September 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:01 pm

For each of us the selection will be unique, but there are some things that simply never lose their magic. For me, Weyhill is near the top of the list… This year marks my 25th season of making visits to the Weyhill Hawk Conservancy Centre, and it just keeps getting better and better. Except maybe for Gary’s jokes… Some nice variety in the flying displays today, but I was particularly pleased with the finale to the “Valley of the Eagles”. Not only was Danebury making a return from retirement to keep Cheyenne company, but we were rewarded with some stunning flying and suitably impressive landings…

 

Canon EOS7D with Canon 70-200mm f2.8L Lens

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