Thorpe Perrow is a rather fine arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire. It’s obviously a place with a history which is all on their website, but mainly it’s a lovely place to go and visit and just wander among the trees, beside the lake or in the gardens and be at peace! It also has a falconery which is great fun, or is it controversial? Certainly here are birds which instinct says should be free and roaming the skies above Yorkshire’s moorlands (or in some cases much more exotic places), rather than being in aviaries for the amusement (and education) of visitors. On the other hand those that get the opportunity to fly free and to fly away evidently don’t seize their freedom. Maybe they know which side their avian bread is buttered. Here they are well cared for and well fed, with the minimum of effort on their part. It’s perhaps too simplistic to project our own instincts on to them!
So we watched the display. The first bird that I tried to photograph is called Colin – I don’t know why but that’s his name! He’s actually a Eurasian Owl of some sort, getting on in years a bit, very fit though and apparently equipped with a huge crushing strength in his talons. Here are my attempts to catch him in flight …….
Next up was a much smaller but much faster falcon, whose given name I didn’t catch! He’s also getting on a bit I gather and his vertical “stoop” is at a mere 140mph or so. Certainly wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end. A few images – which in truth don’t really do him justice.
There’s also a mammal enclosure where the principal attractions are Meerkats and Wallabies. Actually there was only the one Meerkat in evidence, but he/she posed for the usual cliches. The Wallabies were in quiet mood – very happy to be hand fed and quite content to pose …..
All in all a good visit ….. the return to see and photograph the trees in their autumn glory feels like an inevitability!