If ever there was an extra special event not to be missed in NTG’s calendar, it was this. Robert Wallis and his Harris Hawk ‘Freyja’ – plus team of Claire, Tim and Max (who makes the crab pots at our Viaer Marchi) – came up to a quiet corner of St Saviour last Wednesday to introduce and demonstrate the historic art of falconry.
We felt as though we were witnessing magic when Freyja flew free and high, only to circle back and land on Robert’s glove. There is a more logical explanation involving trust and reward. Returning to Robert means a reward of tasty morsels for Freyja. Nonetheless, it remains pure magic to behold.
Ancient falconry terms have become part of the English language and we will look further into this with an article in our Spring Newsletter. ‘Larking around’, for example, takes on a whole new meaning … once you know.
We had the unexpected delight of a local falconer and his bird joining the gathering. ‘Vlad’ (male bird) aged 17 suffered a badly broken wing 18 months ago. Whilst he didn’t fly, his hawk eye was as interested and acute as Freyja’s. We were intrigued as to whether there might be a bit of bird flirtation going down between our two feathered friends, alas they literally didn’t bat an eyelid at each other. A bit disappointing for potential NTG lovebirds.com.
Intriguingly and within 10 minutes of our visitor birds’ arrival, they were spotted by two ‘locals’. A pair of Sparrowhawks mewed, swooped and circled, checking out the new kids on the block. It was extraordinary how rapidly they’d clocked the visitors and made us wonder where their watchtower perches were. Not very far away, that’s for certain.
Many many thanks to Robert Wallis, Freyja, our neighbours and lovely NTG-ers. It was a very special gathering and one which we hope to repeat next year. This would be a very eagerly anticipated event.
What a fascinating spectacle and straight out of Henry VIII’s day book. Again, again!