Monday, November 14, 2011

Falconry on the Isle of Arran, part deux

In 2006 I attended a falconry meet on the Isle of Arran. In September, it is a stunningly beautiful place. All 167 square miles of it. In the fall of 2010, I was lucky enough to return. I didn't fly a bird, but was a beater for those with hawks and eagles in hand looking for brown hares. Our hosts, Ian and Murray, never fail to show us a good time. There was plentiful quarry in the field and lots of venison, whiskey and laughs in the pub.

The weather was perfect. Idyllic.

We lined up to walk the fields and flush brown hares.

Photo by Adrian Struthers
There were several good flights, the hares bursting at our feet and the hawks all business off the fist.

Photo by Adrian Struthers

Topaz, a male golden eagle x ornate hawk-eagle hybrid, took a few hares in fine style. This one involved a lovely pitch-up and wing over. He can turn on a dime.

Andrew, Topaz, and brown hare
The most enthusiastic member of the group, Mirran spent long hours trumping across the fields, flushing hares, and aiding the falconers in all ways. A future falconer, if we are lucky.

Photo by Adrian Struthers

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