What a truly wonderful couple of days we have had in Scotland on the Dalmunzie estate - flying female goshawks and harris hawks at mountain hare and a few ptarmigan too!
We reached around 3500ft and walked 20 miles in two days up and down the hills and through the peat hags. The estate presented incredible views, plentiful game and challenging terrain in equal measure. A meet to test both falconer and hawk. Many thanks to Barry and Roxanne of Elite Falconry for hosting us - their hospitality and expert knowledge of the ground was simply fantastic. Also lots of thanks to our spectators lead by Hazel and Anthony who helped flush the quarry throughout the day, and to the dogs who put in truly great effort from start to end.
The three hawks flown by Kirsty, Sarah and Amy adapted well to their new type of quarry, and the flights got better and better as we went on. Sadly nothing in the bag this time but many frustratingly close calls. Asking hawks to fly at game that tests their true capabilities was both challenging and exciting. In particular the immature female goshawk bound with hare on multiple occasions, frustratingly only to be knocked off. However it did not deter her enthusiasm and determination to continue. We also enjoyed a flight on hare from the female golden eagle, which was breathtaking to say the least.
We are already sorting dates for next year, so if you think this sounded like fun and are up for the challenging terrain, then keep your eye out for next year's dates.
You can view more pictures from our trip here.