Merry Christmas everyone i hope everyone got some lovely gifts we look forward to hearing from the lucky people who received one of our gift vouchers.
Our christmas card this year was designed by a local boy Ryan Attril and was well received by everyone and we have had a few bookings from our christmas offer for 2018
we have had a lovely couple of days off spending time with family and santa was good to us all, we had a couple of good hawking days on christmas eve and boxing day and Jessica and kate were out as well doing the ferrets
We are back at work with a care home visit and some private experiences although we do still have a couple of spaces left before we welcome the new year.
Hello everyone been a wee while since my last post life at Speyside Falconry has been rather hectic this last few months.
we have welcomed a few piglets we gave a boar and a gilt ready to go if anyone is interested.
We are now listed in Day out with the kids which is fantastic, i love the website i use it a lot when we have our own days out with the girls so to have our buisness on there is great and will hopefully put us out there to more people.
if anyone has been for a visit and wants to leave us a review then we are on trip advisor.
Christmas is on its way and we have gift vouchers for all our private experiences, an amazing gift for a loved one.
we have had a competition on to find a picture for this years christmas card, am really excited about this the level of talent of the kids is amazing they certainly havnt made our job easy, more info on this to come once we have a winner.
we operate all year round so anyone looking for something fun to do can give us a call and get booked in.
Darren has been busy with some pest control, Moles and rabbits our Harris Hawk Alice is doing a great job
Darren & Clare
Tattie Holidays are almost upon us and we are looking forward to Meeting everyone who has booked with us on our Kids go free holiday offer.
The piglets are getting bigger and having fun exploring the outdoors we are keeping a close eye on the next lot of piglets making an appearance
This term our school visits have been a huge success and we have visited several schools; the kids are always fantastic and we get all sorts of questions as they learn about the owls and fly them. Our care home visits have been great fun and it’s amazing to watch the affect these sessions can have on someone with dementia and the joy that this can bring people and their families.
As we are in October we are spending the month with a Halloween theme for our activity sheets, we have a Halloween Hoot on the 29th from 1.30pm this is for school age children £15 each which includes 1 accompanying adult and a Halloween goody bag, kids enjoy a meet the owl’s session and fly some of the owls and take part in a couple of small Halloween games. Kids are invite to dress up with a prize for our favourite costume. Places are limited so booking is essential, call 01542 860766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a photography session on the 21st which is open to people of all ages and abilities and gives an opportunity to practice in flight photography as well as some static shots. £30 pp and includes tea/coffee.
Training with our young Harris Hawks is going well, Hetty only has 3 tail feathers but has made great progress and we are going to introduce her to people over the next few weeks and socialise her. Our other Hawk Alice is now hunting and being used for pest control services.
Darren & Clare
Hi everyone, normal service has been resumed and kids are back at school, although I am sad to lose my helpers, they were fantastic over the summer helping with the bookings we had.
we enjoyed a fantastic day at the RAF family and friend’s day in Lossiemouth thank you to everyone who came and spoke to us and purchased some merchandise.
Our private experiences have been very popular, you can choose from meet the owls, walk with a hawk or Behind the Scenes. All our sessions include flying the birds and are pre-booked.
Now the schools are back in for another term we are back to school visits, we have a few bookings with some of the local Moray schools in September, these sessions are always really good fun and the kids throw some good questions at you as they enjoy flying some owls and we are very much looking forward to visiting various schools across Moray and Highlands
At the end of August, we will celebrate 1 year in Business its been some year with lots of ups and downs, we have met some amazing people and we have gone from strength to strength. Our care home visits continue to be one of our most popular services and we love visiting the residents and watching how much they enjoy and benefit from the interaction with the owls.
We are really excited about the coming year and what’s in store for us
We are Currently training some Young Harris Hawks, anyone who has bookings with us into October can look forward to meeting them.
Planning ahead to October, we are hoping to do some Kids go Free sessions for the holidays, another photography session and We are planning some Halloween fun so keep an eye out for details. We shall also be In attendance at VSA Easter Anguston Farm.
We would love some feedback on our blog posts, what would you like to read about, is there a bird of prey you particularly like or a member of our team you would like to know more about??
Darren and Clare
One week into the summer holidays and so far, so good!!
In June, some lucky nursery and school pupils got to enjoy meet the owl sessions with us, I love working with the kids and having the opportunity to teach the next generations about birds of prey and falconry.
We have attended a few events recently which is good fun and a great opportunity for people to meet us and the birds and talk to us. At Beauly, we did a small display with a couple of our owls and a couple of children got the opportunity to come into the arena and help fly them
The summer holidays have started off very busy for us with a mix of private sessions, Care home visits and events. Hopefully we will squeeze in a couple of days off and enjoy a bit of family time as well while the kids are off school.
We had our first photography session which went very well and we have seen some amazing pictures of the birds, our next session is scheduled for Sunday 23rd July with just 1 space left.
There has been great interest in the sessions and we want to be able to provide sessions at times and dates suitable for all interested parties.
are weekdays or weekends more suitable?
Early or Mid/late morning?
A mixed session or separate beginner and experienced sessions?
If people interested can comment that would be great and then we can be sure we are providing the services that people want to book.
Since we started, the business has been going from strength to strength and we are always looking at future events and sessions that people are interested in so all feedback is appreciated to ensure we can offer the best service
Darren & Clare
It’s been all go here recently at Speyside Falconry as we enter our busy season. We welcomed some youngsters to our team, Brogan our European Eagle Owl, Lauren our Long Eared Owl and Alex our Tawny Owl. They are still in the early weeks and are being socialised on outings and soon we will start our flight training outside so exciting times for people who have bookings with us.
This month has seen a few cubs and beaver group visits which have been great fun and everyone has enjoyed meeting and flying the birds and learning about them. We have had some care home visits which are always a treat, I love these visits, getting to witness the benefits the older generation get from the interactions with the owls is amazing and you meet some right characters.
We had our first big event at Gordon Castle Country Fair and Highland Games this month, the weather on Saturday had other ideas but that didn’t put people off and we met some great people and got our name out there. Sunday the sun came out and lots of people with it we were non stop, people were great and hopefully we will hear from some of you in the future when you make a booking. Our stall resulted in a mid week booking from a lovely couple from Austria who were over on holiday
We had a photography session with a group from Lossiemouth which was fantastic and we really enjoyed it, we can run sessions for any camera clubs or groups.
Next month we look forward to a few events and some school bookings. It’s great to teach kids about the birds, falconry and what we do.
The summer holidays are not far away and after the success at Easter we plan to run another special offer and maybe a couple of mini fun sessions for kids if there is enough interest.
During the holidays we will also be running a couple of photography sessions for individuals to get involved and enjoy an opportunity to photograph the birds, maximum of 5 per session, get in touch for more information or to register interest.
Darren & Clare
The other day I came across an interesting Tweet on Twitter where Travellingwithourkids asked her followers what their top 3 bucket list destinations were.
www.travellingwithourkids.co.uk is a UK Blogger who writes about her family travels with her husband and 2 kids, great writer with some fantastic posts on destinations across the world and lots of travel tips, you should check her out and give her a follow if you are on Twitter
I Found the question interesting but what intrigues me more is the why not so much the where, for us its really difficult going anywhere as a family and when we do its mostly about outdoors, animals and falconry as its what we love but I do have a couple of places I would love to go for completely unrelated reasons.
My 3 where Yorkshire, New Orleans and Dubai.
Yorkshire because its such a beautiful place you could send days exploring the countryside and seeing visitor attractions and the kids have never been.
New Orleans because I would love to experience the music and food for myself and I would love to experience the Mardi Gras, my friend’s parents where there earlier this year and took home some of the Mardi Gras beads some of which my girls got which was amazing.
Dubai is the big one and top of the list, this one of course is all about the falconry, to go out to Dubai and experience Falconry at its finest would be amazing, Ideally, I would like to go at the back end of the year when the falconry museum has the falcons on display for sale, and to attend the falconry races in the dessert, one day this will become a reality!!
So who wants to tell me the ‘why’ about their top destinations? would be interesting to find out if peoples destinations are connected to their everyday life or something completely unrelated, comment below
Darren & Clare
Lana is our White faced Scops Owl, although a few years ago, the powers that decide on species split them into two different species and they became known as the Northern White Faced and the Southern White faced. The northern and Southern is referring to Africa where these owls originate from.
They are also known as the ‘Transformer owl’ for their defence mechanism, which I can tell you is absolutely fascinating to see!!!
Due to its small size, in the wild they are good prey so they have developed mechanisms when faced with a threat.
When they are faced with a small threat they will try to present themselves as large as possible by throwing out both wings and raising all their feathers, like a fan and open their eyes as wide as possible, Lana did this when we got a kitten and they seen each other for the first time.
When they are faced with a much larger threat or don’t want to risk any confrontation they pull themselves in and elongate their bodies, narrows and squints their eyes and their tufts point straight up, they attempt to disguise themselves so the threat will see them as a tree branch and back off.
It is these amazing survival techniques that has earned this little owl its big name ‘The Transformer Owl’. It is fascinating to read about but even more so when you see it in action.
Our Lana has the most amazing nature and is great around people and she has the most beautiful big orange eyes.
Darren & Clare
The recent news story of the Saudi prince buying seats for 80 of his falcons has been a huge hit with photos being shared around Social media. To people here and possible other countries this is pretty extraordinary, however in the UAE, albeit most airlines and travel companies would have a restriction on numbers, this would be normal every day stuff.
Falconry is an ancient Arabic tradition and today is one of the most exclusive sports in the UAE, the top birds cost thousands and are issued with their own passports hence why you see them on planes.
The falcon is UAEs national bird and represents strength and courage. Wild ones are rarely used in the UAE and although there are breeding centres the majority of the birds are imported from the UK, Germany and Spain amongst others.
The falcon Heritage centre in Dubai is the place to go for all things falconry, you can visit the museum and find out more about the history and culture of falconry, a souk where you can buy everything you need falconry related such as gauntlets and hoods, they also have a vet on hand. There is also birds on show, and this is the only place in Dubai where you can legally buy and sell the birds.
Every year they hold Falconry races which is now open to public entries and they have a falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi, but these both deserve a blog post in their own right as there is much to talk about.
Darren would love to attend the races one year and visit the falconry souks but the one downside to our line of business is family holidays are out of the question, but he may well go solo one year if opportunity allows, or we can wait till we are big enough to have employees and we can all go.
Keep a look out for our next blog post
Darren & Clare
Darren and Clare
Husband and wife and owners of Speyside Falconry