A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Posts tagged “king harolds day


This is what being a falcon is all about. Being a Peregrine Falcon, as flown by monarchs.  More of her further down. First a cute Barn Owl. Click on an image twice for a closer view.

Barn Owl

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I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity, any girl who isn’t me tonight” .
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“Alright, who said Kentucky Fried Owl”.

Harris Hawk

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“Really, do I look pretty”. “I do like a little owl though”.
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“But not dogs. We screech at dogs”.
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“Except really little ones, yum“.

Harris Hawks (really buzzards) hunt in groups and share their food.  As a result they work well with falconers, who they regard as part of their hunting group.

“To be a good falcon, one has to be determined”.
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“Fearlessly overtake vehicles”.
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“Look like one means business”.

“And strut about as if one owns the place”.

These are beautiful and very impressive birds, but I don’t think I’d like one in my kitchen. 🙂

Peregrine Falcon

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“Now, I really am cute”.
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Or perhaps not”.
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“Lets get to the main event, and take a gander at those legs”.
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“Anybody who thinks that I look like Gonzo the Great, does so at their own risk.  Especially that dozy looking photographer over there”.

Peregrine Falcons fly on the level at up to 60 mph and dive at more than 200 mph.  These are the jet fighters of the falconry world and come with a regal attitude. Too fast to land safely on a gloved hand, so they chase a lure swung at the end of a long tether.  Too fast for me to get a good photograph, but I did at least get her in the frame a couple of times.
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“I got it and its mine see”.

Once a Peregrine has caught the lure they are allowed to finish the morsel.  Otherwise they feel cheated and will not chase the lure again.
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“Toodle pip.  Do come again, we’ll have some tea”.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing these amazing birds.  The pictures were taken during King Harold’s Day at Waltham Abbey.  The display was provided by Coda Falconry where you can spend more time with the birds for a fee. There is another Harris Hawk in flight and diving at Leeds Castle.

There was also Loki the cheeky rescued raven,  He gets a post of his own here.

Waltham Abbey and King Harold’s Day

The Church

There has been a church on this site since 610 AD.  Rebuilt on a grander scale by Harold Godwinson (Earl of Essex and East Anglia) and consecrated in 1060 AD.  The church has a long history that can be found here.

Harold Godwinson later became King Harold II in 1066.  During that year Harold was forced to march north to Stamford Bridge and fend of a viking invasion.  Two weeks later he was in Hastings trying to repel the Norman invasion.  The Normans prevailed over the Anglo-Saxons and England/Britain was changed forever.  This was the last successful invasion of the British Isles.

Waltham Abbey Church Ceiling 1

Waltham Abbey Church Ceiling 2

Waltham Abbey Church Stained Glass 1

Waltham Abbey Church Stained Glass 2

Waltham Abbey Church Altar and Fresco

.Waltham Abbey Church


King Harold’s Day

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“Hit me with your rhythm stick”.  Morris dancing didn’t appear until 1448 but I’m not going to say anyting.King Harolds Day DSC_0758

“I don’t know why they do it.  They’d be better of with a hammer, like me and Thor”.
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She was very good and produced some appealing airs.

The value of life was accounted very differently then.  A slaves life being worth less than a toe of any other person.
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On the other hand they had some sophisticated shoe marketing techniques.
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What did the Normans ever do for us ?
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“Falcons, who said falcons, I’ll give them food poisoning”. The falconry display includes a Peregrine Falcon and is here 🙂