Posted by Glyn and Claire
July 3rd 2014 saw us revisiting the Gauntlet BIrds of Prey centre in Knutsford. Last years visit was, ahem, dampened somewhat, by rain, rain and more rain but the weather forecast looked better for this year. Despite huge grey clouds we managed to stay dry for the whole two hours (yes this is possible occasionally in England!) and the bin bags we were supplied with last year weren’t necessary.
The night started off with some flying displays and these were fantastic. Having the place to yourselves means you can sit where you want…..your knee was very comfortable Rob……and we could move around a bit to get some great shots, well, hopefully. Various birds were flown for our photographic delectation including five vultures at the same time followed by twelve kites at once which made for a frantic struggle to focus on just one but was great to just sit back and watch.
The bald eagle disappeared and was apparently being threatened by a local buzzard but he did come back for some pictures at the end. A local magpie joined in the fun and got fed as well so everyone was happy.
After that we went into an adjacent field where birds were put into positions with attractive backgrounds for us to shoot. Yoda the tiny owl made a welcome return and posed in a tree for us while a larger owl peered at us with his beady eyes. For a comprehensive list of birds and their names please ask Mr Amor-Allan who is good at that sort of thing.
The final part was spent in the barn with an owl and the aforementioned bald eagle redeeming himself after his earlier disappearance.
I remember some prat on Flickr having a go at camera clubs last year after seeing a picture of us photographing a bird of prey…..and then being put in his place by a number of members! The chance to get up close to these magnificent creatures is an invaluable experience and having the centre to ourselves is brilliant. The fact that we also helped to look after them too with our contributions is also incredibly important. The birds are obviously cared for and well looked after and deserve our support. I for one will be up for going again next year and nuts to the naysayer on Flickr!