1 EAGLETON NOTES: Chester

.

.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Chester

Someone recently asked what my favourite city is. I don't have one specific place but Chester is certainly one that holds fond memories and has played quite a part in my life. It is also a beautiful old walled city. I've blogged before about the beautiful old buildings so today I'll just mention that, on Monday, CJ and I went to Chester and decided upon a whim to visit the Chester Cathedral Falconry and Nature Gardens. I've been to a few falconries in my time and I've not been a great lover of birds in captivity. 

However the visit to the falconry (CJ's blog is here) changed my view considerably. It was quite clear that the falconer, Sophie Pegg, had an amazing rapport with the birds. Instead of being poor unhappy captives I saw the birds as rescued or reared and, if a bird is capable of happiness or contentment, then the birds we saw seemed to be content or happy.

I thought  that I was pretty knowledgeable about raptors and, perhaps even vultures. However the talk that Sophie gave was not just entertaining for the children and parents but also for the relative oldies like CJ (sorry CJ) and I. It also completely altered my view of vultures. They are amazing and, of course, necessary creatures.

Sophie with the vulture named Tinker.








I also managed a rather fetching head of a Golden Eagle.


20 comments:

  1. Great pictures Graham. Sophie must have oodles of patience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YP I have little doubt that Sophie is a very patient lady and a very dedicated one too.

      Delete
  2. I love raptors. They are such fascinating birds. There is definitely a place for places like this that rescue and rehabilitate wild birds. You have a great collection of images here Graham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Liz I agree that there is a place for such places if they are well run and the birds are content.

      Delete
  3. WE have a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Most animals are raised back to health and then released . Some are not able to be released and kept. The owls are amazing creatures. I can understand why you were fascinated by the presentation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red I think all raptors are amazing in their way but owls, in particular, have a special place in the minds of most of us.

      Delete
  4. I have always enjoyed a trip to a falconry centre. I must go again as I have little excuse with the one at Cupar being just down the road.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure, Adrian, that you would come away with some amazing photos.

      Delete
    2. Last time I went I decided to focus on the red haired, freckled handler. She was nearly as special as this lady and far more attractive than a kestrel. The Kestrel has freckles but I preferred those on the handler. I must go again, the lass was Irish and called Siobhan, good job she was far too young as I can't spell shivon. A lucky escape for both her and her raptors.

      Delete
  5. Chester certainly is a beautiful city, and also a very 'chic' one. Unfortunately my memory is tainted by a really unnecessary parking ticket, and a strange experience in a Greek restaurant. I don't imagine I'll return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro if everyone who had a strange experience in a restaurant never went back to that city there'd be a few I'd not be returning to. Mind you an unnecessary parking ticket would certainly put anyone off!

      Delete
  6. I haven't been to many bird of prey centres, but my lasting memory of the one in Newent (that we went to together when we all holidayed in Hereford) was that I really liked the vultures. Must go and see some again sometime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen I recall that occasion at Newent because one of the birds almost scalped me on its flight in.

      Delete
  7. The very first school trip I ever was on was to a falconry. It was fascinating - and would have been even more so if this seven-year-old Librarian in the making would not have been so daft as to forget her newly acquired specs at home! I wasn't used to wearing them then, and did not realize I had not put them on until we arrived there and I couldn't see the birds so well when they were flying high up and far away.

    Sophie looks like a very young lady, but then that says more about me getting older than about her real age, does it!

    As for favourite cities, I'd say my home town (naturally) is top of the list, closely followed by Ripon which is my second home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meike your statement that your home town is 'naturally' your favourite home town fascinates me but is very laudable. I don't live in the city of my birth or youth and rarely return there (today being one day that I did). I like and have a great affinity with the town nearest to where I live now but it's certainly not one of my favourites as such.

      Delete
  8. Love the kestrels in flight, Geeb.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, I'm really impressed with your photos, especially of the birds in flight... (I think my camera would be too slow for these kinds of shots.) Brave girl to handle those big birds. Looking at pictures I always like the owls best but I suppose in reality they're as dangerous as the others. Must be something about their big heads perhaps that make us think they're cute :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monica the owl's skull is miniscule with most of it being taken up by eyes. Their ear holes are almost the same size as ours. The size is made up almost entirely of feathers.

      Delete
  10. Love the kestrels, Graham. I imagine these images may have been easier to come by than when we tried to get some down my road. I also like the vultures, they are quite magnificent!

    ReplyDelete