And other flesh-tearing avians. Fliss and I went to the imaginatively titled Falconry Experiences in Swadlincote, Derbyshire yesterday. There we got to hold an American kestrel, a (melanistic) barn owl, and a Harris hawk, stroke a burrowing owl, and sit and stare at a golden eagle and hope it didn't try to kill us. We also learned the origin of the phrases "fed up", "end of their tether", "under the thumb" and "wrapped around your finger", learned that "Subbeteo" literally translates as "under-buzzard" (i.e. a hobby; Peter Adolph, you wag, you), and watched a falconer vault a barbed-wire fence to chase after a hawk which had fled the scene after a rather surprised baby rabbit (no animals were harmed in the making of this situation).
So all that was rather nice. Here are some photos of the two of us holding on to various feathered killers.