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THE BLOG

There is only one Predator Experience
Fri May 9 12:44:36 2014


To avoid confusion we would like to make sure you all know that Predator Experience is a professional independent company. We do not operate out of the back of premesis belonging to another. We also do not sell our experiences through any third party other than Go Lakes, the Cumbria Tourism official website. Any experiences found on daily deal type websites are not Predator Experience. We do not feature on trip advisor. Our experiences are natural history based and of very high quality, beware of low quality imitations.

We are Expanding!
Wed Apr 9 10:20:56 2014


We are pleased to tell you all that we have purchased further land which adjoins our existing land. We are aiming to add a new experience to the Falconry and bird of prey experiences and the Walking wiht Wolves. Watch this space…..it's all happening!

We are in the Guardian!
Sat Jun 15 08:31:29 2013


Hi Everyone We are in the Guardian newspaper travel section today. Including the online version take a look.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2013/jun/14/wolf-walking-holiday-cumbria-england?commentpage=2


Meeting with Cunninghams Jack Wolfskin
Mon Apr 29 09:13:18 2013


Looking forward to todays meeting with Cunninghams in Ambleside, to discuss future sponsorship agreement plans.  It's an exciting relationship we are proud to be part of.

The Jack Wolfskin brand of outdoor clothing suits both our new Walking with Wolves Experience and our Falconry Experience Days and Eagle Experiences.  It's fantastic kit just what you need on top of a fell flying an Golden Eagle or wandering through a woodland with a pair of Timber Hybrid Wolves, Maksa and Kajika.



Cheap deals are they value for money?
Tue Feb 21 20:48:27 2012


Hi Everyone

Having had the experience of working within the leisure industry for many years now, it has given us the opportunity to observe visitor satisfaction and the quality of falconry experiences offered.  As you have probably noticed there are lot of new online large deal companies popping up, offering discounted vouchers for all sorts of stuff, experiences included.  In a depressed financial climate these offers can seem very tempting, and whilst the service providers will do their best to give you a nice experience, it really is worth bearing in mind the process which has resulted in the offer.  It goes like this.........

Large companies contact a service provider and essentially make them an enthusiastic offer they can't refuse of a boost to their sales.  A heavily discounted price per experience is agreed and the deal is done.  This gets the service provider hooked.  The company then goes through the process of sending out the documents and everything looks great.  The company then comes back to the service provider, with the news that someone higher up the managerial chain has stated that the price per unit is too high, and the experience must be offered yet cheaper, by the service provider in order for the promotion go ahead.  The service provider is very disappointed to be squeezed in this way, but agrees.  The offer is advertised, hundreds of vouchers are purchased and redeemed.   Of the tasty already around 80% discounted rate advertised in the promotion, the service provider receives about 45% percent, the rest is VAT and the deal companies cut.

The reason we think this is worth blogging about, is because customers think they are getting a bargain, but are you?   There is an element of not having bought an experience through the service provider directly to make a comparison.  Therefore, customers often don't realise that in many cases, they do miss out.  All companies have a financial breakeven point which they need to achieve in order to remain viable.  Inevitably, low price per unit sales, means high unit group numbers.  The resulting cost to the customer is a significantly reduced experience.

We have learned this lesson the hard way.  We ran a promotion with a company.  Although everyone who attended the event  had a great time when they were here, they had no real comparison to the experience we run for ourselves.  The experience we offered on promotion, was a one hour Eagle Experience with about a 73% discount.  Under the promotion the unit price was so low, it was necessary to include up to eight people on each experience, eight on a one hour experience!   The customers only got to hold each bird once.  A one hour Eagle Experience directly from us, as an experience which is completely exclusive to the party booked, even if it is only one person on the experience.  This of course, is reflected in the cost.  The deal situation is the same when the promotion on offer is a half day or full day. In fact it can be worse.  The profitability of the day for the service provider means that yet more people need to attend each experience, to compensate for there being one group, thus limiting the revenue turnover for that time.

Predator Experience has a company policy of a maximum of four guests attending any experience purchased directly, this incudes observers.  Even on a full day there are no more than four attendees (unless someone has booked with group bigger than four).  Low group sizes ensures that everyone has a truly engaging high quality experience.  The falconer can personally get to know everyone well, and make them feel welcome.  Each guest has plenty of opportunity to interact with the birds, and get to know their individual personalities.  There is more freedom to ask those questions which you really want to ask, but are too shy to ask in front of a large group of stangers!  The experiences are relaxed and stunning, rather than rushed by a falconer who is under pressure to get around everyone before their time is up!

It is necessary to say we are not against the idea of deal companies, in some situations you can get a bargain.  We just think that it is a good thing to warn people that in other cases, the old adage of  'You get what you pay for" certainly exists.  If you know what to expect and realise that you're purchasing a discounted service, so you will receive a discounted service, then you won't be diappointed.

We were approached by a second company who professed to be not like the first, we believed them!  At the point where they came back to us to apply the squeeze, we backed out and vowed never to be that easily taken in again, with a myrthful smile on our faces and a little wiser to boot!

I have heard tell that these companies have a relatively short shelf life, go in to a country make a lot of money, and leave.  It gets harder to encourage service providers to work with them, and people realise that they are on a conveyor belt and would quite like to get off and go for quality instead!

If you want an amazing uncompromised experience, for yourself or as a gift, contact us at http://www.predatorexperience.co.uk or call 07733366748, you certainly won't be disppointed!



Falconry an Intangible Cultural Heritage
Mon Jan 23 12:58:24 2012


Hi Everyone

Today I would like to take you back to 2007, when the United Arab Emirates and our Hawk Board, applied to UNESCO, to have falconry recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.  Intangible Cultural Heritage is a protection status give to traditions, ancient art forms and festivals which are historic, having been practiced through the ages.

It was both an important year and project for Daniel and I.   The first ever festival of falconry was held in Reading, July 2007.  The festival was to demonstrate for UNESCO the heritage of falconry through-out the world.  In total forty nine countries were represented with their falconers attending this ground breaking event. My role to design and manage the education exhibit for the Hawk Board at the festival. It was there that Daniel and I met!

Actually we nearly didn't meet!  I was on my way out of the exhibit to walk my dog, when I was held up by a chap from Holland with an enquiry.  Having had a chat with him, I was just leaving when Daniel met me with Ben the Golden Eagle on his glove!  Daniels chat up line was 'Do you have a hood that will fit my Golden Eagle?'  Yes, I'm ashamed to admit I fell for that old chestnut!  Anyway, if I hadn't been held up, I would have been out walking my dog and Predator Experience would never have exisited!  Fate is such a mysterious thing!  If I knew who that guy was, I'd buy him a drink!

Predator Experience is committed to education and the conservation of wild birds of prey.  The ethos of our experiences relates to natural history and bio-diversity and does not focus on falconry unless requested or for falconry tuition.  Our unique modern approach is very different from other falconry related organisations. However, the fact that the UNESCO application is successful, and that falconry is protected is still vitally important to us.   The skills handed down through generations since 2000 BC, have made it possible for us to take our guests into the natural environment with eagles, hawks, falcons and owls today, so they can fully appreciate the life of birds of prey.



Falconers have always played a significant role in the conservation of raptors and owls.  Through the rehabilitation of injured wild birds of prey, protecting nest sites and using their skills to assist population numbers.  We can now be sure that in this ever changing world, the heritage of falconry will continue through the ages to come. We will be proud to hand our skills down to the next generation so they can carry on the work which we do now, and others have done before us.

Of course, along with the benefits to world heritage, the UNESCO project changed our lives!      Check out our website http://www.predatorexperience.co.uk

Bye for now!

Dee

Home to Roost!
Fri Jan 20 12:32:37 2012


Hi Everyone

Did you have a good Chirstmas?  Daniel, myself and the team, all wish you all the very best for 2012.  We hope it is a good year for you all.  It has been an exciting start for us as we have just completed the purchase of Barn Close.  It might seem weird to those of you who are probably thinking, I thought that is where we visited you???  Yes, you did, but we were renting the property and land until the 6th January 2012 when it became our own.  We are glad that the business is secure in it's venue and it is all upwards from here.

This is going to be an exciting year for Predator Experience as a company, there is expansion on the horizon!  More about that later, watch this space.

The birds are all absolutely thriving.  They have had a little holiday and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Following diets fit for medieval kings, some are raring to go, Colt the Harris, Sam the Peregrine, and those who think maybe an extra day off or two would be nice, we know who you are Ben the Golden Eagle!  However, it is back to the fell this weekend Ben, so get your bell on let's go!

We put a little pile of about twenty small stones in the middle of the field for Johnny to mess around with.  Johnny is our Striated Caracara, which although he is naturally found in the Falkland Islands, was born in Bristol Zoo Gardens.  Johnny and I have been together for about six or seven years.

This is Johnny or Striated Caracara.....



Anyway, all Caracaras love to turn stones over to search for food, it is a natural way in which they hunt (they have thick strong toes for the purpose).  With that in mind, we put some pebbles in the field and Johnny had a great time in the wind yesterday, flying around and then returning to his stones to search for hidden titbits.  There was less wind today so then he prefers to just run around. He really enjoys himself, I love flying him because he is so cheeky and expressive, you really can tell that he is having a good time.

Sapphira the White-tailed Sea Eagle, was incredibly curious about this sudden addition of a pile of pebbles to her flying area, and she it best to keep half an eye on them in case they had any intention of jumping up to bite her!  Today, they were there yesterday, so didn't warrant even a glance!  She does like to know that everything is how it should be!

Everyone will be raring to go in a few days, and we are all looking forward to the summer season.  So if you are in the area or fancy visiting us and want a really great expereince this year, come and meet us and our team!  Visit our webite for more details. http://www.predatorexperience.co.uk.

Catch up soon.


Sat Dec 3 11:13:12 2011


Hi Everyone

Predator Experience is offering a one day only early bird Christmas discount of 15%!  It will only last throughout tomorrow Sunday 4th December 2011.

If you want to take advantage of this amazing offer you will need to ring us on 07733366748 or 07500956348.

So if you are looking for a great present for a loved one or an unusual Christmas present for couples, we are just what you are looking for!



Christmas is just around the corner
Mon Nov 28 21:35:03 2011


Hi Everyone

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would remind you all how much you loved being here and how well you all remember your visit.  Or even how much you are still looking forward to your visit because you haven't been yet.

We have a gift for everyone whether they would be up for adventure, eagles and fells......  (Eagle Experience morning)



or a gentle but heart touching experience with hawks and woodlands......  (Hawk Walks & Experience Days)



Of course we do scary............(The Predator Experience)



.....and comical.......(Eagle Experience - afternoon & Experience Days)



We can offer you exhilarating........... (Experience Days)



And relaxing........(Eagle Experience - afternoon & Experience Days)



We can do wilderness.................(Eagle Experience - morning)



and rolling countryside..............(Hawk Walks & Experience Days)



There is falconry to learn...........(Falconry Tuition)



and fun to be had...............(Eagle Experience - afternoon & Experience Days).



Whatever you have your eye on.......(Eagle Experience, Experience Days, Hawk Walk, Predator Experience, Falconry Tuition)



We'd love to meet the ones you love.  Contact us for a gift that will be remembered forever.  We all hope your all looking forward to Christmas.



Fudge not Vanilla but Georgous!
Fri Nov 18 09:43:52 2011


Hi Everyone

You've all probably noticed that it's become really cold and getting dark very early!  I don't know where time goes. Half term week was hectic.  We were busy with the Lakes Aquarium and the Lake District National Park Visitor Centre, Brockhole.  Both are business partners we work with regularly and we went there everyday.  But we still managed to find time to include a few Experience Days, Eagle Experiences, Predator Experiences, Hawk Walks and evening talks in as well.  I must admit, by the end of the week you could have knocked me over with a broomstick!  But it was brilliant, we had a fun time and everyone enjoyed the events.

I said I would introduce another new member of the team, and here he is.......



His name is Fudge, he is a Common Buzzard, and he was hatched in spring this year.  We have probably banged this drum a few times now, but we really want to inspire people to go out into the countryside and see what an amazing wealth of wildlife there is out there.  A Buzzard was important to us because they are now the most common bird of prey in Britain.....and they are beautiful.  There is a very healthy Buzzard population in Cumbria.  Their mew is one of the most captivating sounds which can be heard through-out the Lake District.  There is nothing quite like standing on the top of a mountain listening to a pair of Buzzards.  If you can't get up the mountains, then you will be just as likely to hear and see them on a gentle stroll through woodlands.  Mountains and woodland are something the Lake District has a lot of!  But if you want to get a bit more up close and personal, then come and meet Fudge here at Predator Experience.

Common Buzzards were historically considered to be the beginners bird in falconry.  In falconry there has always been a natural progression through the species.  This is so that the falconer can gain skills and falconry experience before moving on to the species which need a higher skill level.  Daniel's first bird was a Buzzard called Brancher, whom he got when he was just 13 years old.  My first bird was a Harris Hawk, which has since become the more popular first bird in falconry.

Daniel and I collected Fudge from the breeder late July and he is doing very well.  He has been loose flying for a long while now, he will be working with the public in the new year.  It is our intention that Fudge will take part in Experience Days and  Hawk Walks.  Presently, Jarreth or Taz and Colt the Harris Hawks go out with us on Hawk Walks.  Harris's are an American species.  Our guests will be able to choose which bird they would rather go for a walk with, either a cast (two) free flying Harris Hawks which would be Taz and Colt or Fudge the Buzzard.

The latin name for the Common Buzzard is Buteo Buteo.  They are a broadwing, therefore designed to soar and still hunt.  Still hunting is essentially sitting in a tree looking for something to chase.  At home in either woodland or open land, they are a versatile bird.  They do prefer to nest in the woods.  Buzzards have really little feet, I will take a photo for you sometime, so that you can compare them to Bens our Golden Eagle!  Their prey is anything from insects to rabbits with various other birds and rodents in between.  However, what they really like is a cold snack!  A love of carrion makes them masters of saving energy and therefore very successful. This often gives them the reputation of being a bit lazy.  Fudge is really greedy, which is a fantastic trait in a bird of prey, so he isn't lazy at all.  He is suprisingly motivated.

In Lakeland and Scotland the Buzzard is called the tourist eagle.  They are large birds in the sky with a two and a half to three foot wingspan, and they are getting naturally larger.  They do look big in the air though, and people often think they have seen a Golden Eagle.  With this in mind Fudge is living next to the largest British bird, our female White-tailed Sea Eagle, Sapphira.  The size difference is massive, I think that is another photo I should take for you.

Let me know what you think of him.

It's been great to chat to you. Thanks for reading.  We'll catch you soon.  Daniel and Dee.

Introducing Sam!
Wed Oct 12 10:05:38 2011


As many of you will know, one area of our collection plan is to focus on British birds of prey.  We aim to present the opportunity to observe our indigenous species behaving naturally, within their natural environment, which is why we have so many British birds.  You are all familiar with Ben our Golden Eagle and Sapphira our White-tailed Sea Eagle, but we have others you may not yet know, and some are new additions.

With that Daniel and I would like to introduce one of our newer members to the team, Sam.  Sam is a Peregrine Tiercel.  Sam isn't a Peregrine Falcon, because the Falcon in the Falco family is the female, the males always have a different title.  So you have a Peregrine Falcon and a Peregrine Tiercel.  We think he is a stunning bird, what you you think?



Sam has lived with us since earlier this summer and is already two years old.  He was surplus from a previous breeding year and so we decided to take him to give him an active life, rather than purchase a young one from the falcon breeders.   He is flying well and really enjoys to barrel roll, which is almost like a pendulum effect.  We are encouraging him to ring up (circle high up into the sky) and stoop.  He was doing well in the summer on the thermals but we are running short of those now!

But my word he is fit, and really puts effort into his flight, he is not a lazy Peregrine at all, and everyone who meets him is blown away by his speed.  Sam flies on Experience Days.  The fantastic element of Predator Experience, is that you are standing in the flight zone just a few feet away from the falconer swinging Sams target, the lure.  So Sam flies past you within a few inches, so you get a real sense of the speed and accuracy of Peregrines.  It is so much more real than sitting on a bench in a flying field.

Yesterday we had a great group of lads, who braved what we all thought was going to be a very wet day.  In reality though it stayed dry, the sun even broke out at one point, and they took some great photos of the team of Harris's in the woodland.  Taz and Colt were looking particularly photogenic with the Autumn colouring blending beautifully with the browns and chestunut colouring of the Hawks.  Come and have a go at a Hawk Walk if your into photography, now is a fantasitc time with the autumnal colour and light!

The lads were treated to our first view of a Red Kite over our land at Barn Close!  We were very please to see the Kite, we had heard that it has been in the area, having travelled from a recent release project in Grizedale Forest, which is nearby.  Red Kites are the Milvus family, the Red Kite,Milvus Milvus.  We used to have the Black Kite in this country also, known as the town kite where the Red Kite was the country kite.  Red Kites are carrion eaters, except for very small prey.

It does mean though that as well as our own birds, we are also regulalry visited by wild Sparrowhawks, Buzzards, Kestrels, Red Kites, Peregrines and a flock of Ravens who live in the wood a couple of fields away!  It's always fantastic to see them.

Thanks for taking the time to read my musings, next time I will tell you all about Fudge!  He's sweet..........but you can't eat him!

WOW What A Summer!
Thu Oct 6 12:40:46 2011


It is ages since we have been in touch.  Daniel and I hope that you are well and that the summer has brought fun and happiness to you all.  We thought we would catch up and let you know what we have all been up to.  Summer has been VERY busy even though it has been wet!  Eveyones enthusiam for getting drenched has been amazing. Over the next several days I will bring you up to speed with what everyone has been doing, including some new additions to the team.  Starting with.........

BEN AND SAPPHIRA  (THE EAGLES)

Ben has had July and August on holiday partly planned and partly due to the rain.  It did give him the opportunity to moult though. He looks superb in his fantastic new feathers, which he is now showing off! Sapphira flew through the summer down at Barn Close, she has grown in confidence and skills!  She is in control of her wings and hasn't fallen off a wall in a long time!  Since going back onto the fell at the beginning of September she has been flying for everyone like a seasoned professional (she still does honk like a chick when she is flying in though)!





JARRETH, TAZ AND COLT (THE HAWKS)

All the hawks have been working hard performing Hawk Walks and many different events for our business partners.  Colt and Taz have been hawks on the move, leaving Jarreth to work from home.  Taz caught a mole!  I can hear you all saying typical Taz to catch something which lives underground!



CRUMBLE AND EBONY (THE OWLS)

Crumble is a star, flying well as always.  One of our guests liked him so much he offered to swap for his Aston Martin DB9!  It's ok, don't all email in, Crumble is still here and not going anywhere!  It was a nice car but I love my owl far more. Although I do think the DB9 would be faster and more responsive when you try to put your foot down!  Ebony, aka Small Owl appears to be maturing at last, both in ability and feathering.  It was slightly disconcerting when he decided to moult all his tail in one go, for about three weeks he was flying with no brakes at all. His tail looks absolutely beautiful now, so it was definately worth it.



AND FINALLY US

It's not all falconry!  Daniel and I got married on 7th May.  We had a woodland wedding in a little church at Staveley-in-Cartmel and a Celiedh band at The Yan, Grizedale, it was fab!  Our one night away we spent at...........Gleneagles, where else could we go?  Married life is suiting me well.

ON OTHER NEWS

The bird garden is coming along well.  Everyone has a new home.  Daniel is now working on the hospital unit.  The hospital will enable us to rehabilitate injured wild birds of prey soon.  It is getting towards time to re-preserve the weatherings to prepare for winter.  We can't wait to put the lodge up.  The lodge will be our new education and conservation facility and very impotantly, install a log stove!

PREDATOR EXPERIENCE is featured in the October issue of Lancashire Magazine.  Get out there and buy it!  Lancashire Magazine has the largest circulation of any county magazine.  The feature was great and the photos were lovely.

Daniel and I would like to create a Eagle Experience Hall of Fame page on the website.  Please could you email your team photos, which will have been taken at the end of your day with Ben or Ben and Sapphira, depending on when you had your experience.  You often send us the great photos of you all flying the birds, but we thought a Hall of Fame of pictures taken at the end of the day pictures would be fun, where you all look wind swept and very happy!  I have attached a photo so that you all know the one we mean.


Well I'll sign off for now but I'll catch up tomorrow!  Bye.


Digging Party
Wed Apr 6 08:29:27 2011


We would like to invite you all to a digging party! It is this coming Sunday 10th April 2011. Starting at 1pm. The idea is the more people the less holes for everyone to dig. We already have lots of people it is going to be really fun. The holes are 2ft deep and 1ft square. There will be a free BBQ. So let us know you are coming and bring a spade!

What an amazing Fell Flight
Sun Apr 3 20:17:51 2011


Today was fantastic flying weather it was sunny and it was windy.  I really wish I had taken a camera, it is such a shame I didn't.

I flew Sapphira on the fell today for the first time.   After a few false starts of leaving the glove and sitting on the floor looking at me wondering where the walls had gone, she got into the swing of things.  She started flying into the wind and lifted up, and up and waiting on above my head about 150 ft up.  That isn't massively high for an eagle but it is her first time up on the fell so I was very pleased.  She was doing incredible stoops down to the glove.

Daniel flew Ben our Golden Eagle, he flew really well and while he was effortlessly soaring around in the wind he was joined by a Red Kite, it is the first time the kite has been in the air at the same time as Ben flying, so to see them both together was fantastic.  They were both very respectful of each others presence and put on the most amazing display of different wing profiles and design.

Then if that wasn't brilliant enough we had the local buzzards in the air too, we do usually see the buzzards everytime we go on the fell.  The are wonderful and are still one of my favourite bird calls.  So today we saw the Buzzard, the Golden Eagle, the Red Kite and the White-tailed Sea Eagle, what a fantastic display of British birds of prey.

I have to say that today is added to one of the highlights of my life in falconry.  It was great.  I promise that next time I will take the camera, either that or you could be there?

Foundations of a loo!
Sun Mar 20 19:59:35 2011


It's been a while I know, but it isn't that nothing is going on!  I'm starting to feel like I could write a book entitled, How to Build a Falconry Centre!

I must add a big thank you to Joe Worswick, who is testiment to what can be acheived when you get a great builder in.  He has done the initial re-surfacing of the car park and installed a great big sewage system, so that we will very soon have a functional toilet on site.  Extremely handy for those who have travelled miles to be here.



Above is Susie holding it all together and below is Chelsea, looking very pleased with the work so far!



Joe also unearthed some lovely big stones in the course of putting in a herringbone soak-a-way. They came out of the field, so we have put them back in the field, for the birds to fly off.  They aren't quite stone henge sarsens, but they look good.  It was quite a sight watching Joe manouver them up the field with the digger.  I have great respect for those who have built stone circles.

Sapphira is flying incredibly well!  I don't think I have ever met a nicer natured White-tailed Sea Eagle.  All being well, it is her maiden test flight on the fell on Tuesday.  A lovely guest sent in this photo of her, I thought you might like to see it.



We have three new members of the team!  I will tell you all about them next time.  Wath this space!

Bye

What's been Happening in the Predator Experience Falconry Garden?
Thu Feb 17 22:19:08 2011


We have been busy!  Daniel has been building.  Again!  The base is in for the Harris Hawks house, Taz and Colt, to be specific.  We have to say a big thank you to Chelsea, Suzie and Tom for digging the holes, and another huge thank you to Chelsea and Suzie who have been up to their knees in concrete, bedding in this base.  They really are appreciated.  Well their work was well worth it.  The base is in and tomorrow the sides and the roof will shoot up.  There will be a couple of finishers to do, front frames and such and then then Taz and Colt will be free lofted, and flown loose from the weathering.  We will be a step closer to our housing goal.

I have been in the office all day today, which I would usually say was a trying experience.  However it is a novelty now.  Predator Experience is growing as a company, and we could no longer manage with the basic equipment that we had.  So investment has been required and a new office has been installed with a new efficient work space.  It is fantastic, feel free to ring me, I am now on hand!

All birds have had a day off today.  But tomorrow is another falconry day!  I will give you a run down on the highlights and lowlights of the day.

It has been good to talk to you again.  Catch you soon

The Sun was Shining!
Thu Feb 10 21:59:07 2011


Wow, what a great day today was!  All our birds were offered a bath in the sunshine!  Not everyone had a bath, some did, some didn't.  Colt one of the Harris Hawks had a paddle.  As usual Johnny the Striated Caracara jumped in straight away and had a proper bath.  You can just imagine him singing in the bath, he's so funny!  Harley the Ferruginous Hawk didn't even wait until the bath was filled properly.  Chelsea couldn't seem to get the water in fast enough for him!  Bath or no bath everyone was enjoying a good preen of the feathers and a bit of a sun bathe.

Shealin our Lanner falcon flew well today, she chased a crow, but it had a bit too much of a head start.  Sapphy flew well again, it is great how well she has taken to flying to people she doesn't know.  We met some nice local people when we were out on a manning session around the area.  Manning is where we carry our birds introducing them to all the different elements os the environment around them.  So that we can introduce new things in a positive way.

Daniel did well again today, he has made the base for the toilet building which is going to be installed soon.  He's a man with a drill and a plan, and he's getting on with it.  Soon we will be having a hole digging party.  The idea is to get lots of people together to bring a spade and dig a a hole about 1ft square and 2ft deep.  The holes are where the bases of the bird housings are concreted into the ground.  The more people the easier the job is for everyone.  There will be a BBQ, and a drink or two.  If you are up for it let me know, and that would be great.  I will post you all about it nearer the time, but it will be soon!  Tomorrow I am flying birds and building the sides of the toilet building!  I will let you know how it goes!  Catch you later.

Sapphira Goes Free!
Mon Feb 14 20:45:00 2011


Today has been one of the best days ever.   As you all know Sapphira was an alternative to an engagement ring for me.   She had a break in her training because the weather was unreasonably cold through the winter, so she was a little behind. Today she flew free for the first time. Very appropriate considering that it was Valentines Day!  I am so proud of her progress, she was relaxed and looked as though she's been flying for years. She is turning out to be a gentle giant. Immensly beautiful, powerful and graceful. It makes me smile that she makes a lovely chupping noise to me when she is flying in!

Dusty, aka Small Owl the Milky Eagle Owl flew better today.  Yesterday she thought it would be a much better idea if we brought the food to her!  Not really what we had in mind to be honest.  Anyway today we seemed to have reached a compromise.  She would fly as long as she could do it in her own time!  The sun was shining, thank goodness!

I will let you know how they get on tomorrow.  Bye for now!

Sapphira, The Evening Star
Wed Feb 9 22:36:55 2011


Just a late night note to say how proud I am of Sapphira, This is the first time she has travelled in the eagle box and gone somewhere in a vehicle since she arrived here last year. It's the first time she has been inside a room, and the first time she has seen a crowd of people. She was brilliant! Took to it like a duck to water...or should I say Sea Eagle to water! Everyone thought she was fabulous, and I must say, I agree. Sapph is going to be an excellent all round bird. Her contribution to conservation will be huge. She is back in her bed fast asleep and I think I will do the same! Night.

Catching up with Friends
Wed Feb 9 17:45:40 2011


Today was pretty awful weather again, so we took the opportunity to visit our Eagle breeder, pick up some food for the birds, and chat about which species of eagle he is breeding this year. We got back to our birds who looked most indifferent about the great outdoors and were pleased to have their dinner and be treated to a well earned day off. I am working tonight, I am taking Sapphira on a debut visit to an after dinner talk at a local hotel, I'm sure she will have a very nice evening. Well I'm off to get ready. Bye for now!

A Quick Tuesday Update
Tue Feb 8 21:50:20 2011


It was really nice today, the sun was shining and the birds all thoroughly enjoyed their morning bath. Daniel has been building and the project is coming along really well. I had a lovely afternoon flying with todays guests. It was a birthday gift, and a great time was had by everyone. We went out with Jarreth, our Harris Hawk, Shealin our Lanner Falcon, Crumble the European Eagle Owl and Sapphira, the young White-tailed Sea Eagle. Sapphira flew really well today. I am very pleased with her progress, her confidence has come on leaps and bounds. I am pleased, she was doing so well last year, but had a break in her training due the severe cold weather. She seems to have picked up where she left off without any trouble at all! I'm off out to take the dog for his night walk now. Back soon!

Just an average day, is always a good day!
Mon Feb 7 17:55:20 2011


Today has been productive. Sue and I had a positive meeting with South Lakeland District Council about development schedules. The telephone has been busy, Daniel has re-located the huge wood delivery to where it needs to be. I have flown birds this afternoon. Thankfully the wind died down a bit. It took two of us a while this morning to look over the land for Pristina's rug. Pristina is our chestnut Arab mare. Eagle eyed Sue found it. The rug was grey and is now various densities of mud. The pressure washer will be out tomorrow! I am looking forward to the forecast for a lovely sunny day tomorrow. We have a experiences running, so it will be lovely. All the birds are relaxing now, so I think I will join them. Catch you soon!

Predator Experience is Granted Zoo License Status
Fri Feb 4 11:26:04 2011


Welcome to the Predator Experience blog. this is the first official post and we hope you will stay tuned and keep up with what we are doing. It certainly will be eventful!

We are really pleased to announce that on 25th January 2011, South Lakeland District Council granted us a zoo license for a statutory four year period. Holding a zoo license not only allows us to do what we do, but also confirms to everyone that our that standard of animal care is consistent with the standards set out by the Secretary of State.

It also gives recognition that Predator Experience is an important conservation and education resource. Something which many of you will know is something very close to our hearts.

There are some conditions to the license, as there always is! But two of them are that we need to have the toilet system up and running in 4 months and the other is that we need to have our birds in new housing in 6 months!

With that in mind we have had a massive wood delivery. We will be making bases to dig into the ground, and then we are going to have a hole digging party, with BBQ, so watch out for that one, you're all invited!

We are in the Westmorland Gazette this week, celebrating the zoo license! We are really proud of the positive relationship we have with the Gazette, and appreciate their support. Go out and buy it if you can.

The weather isn't very good today, so I doubt we will be working outside much! So onward with paperwork and I catch up with you soon!

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