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Friday, 1 February 2008

End of the season




After loosing my falcon, Missy, to a fence in Dec 06, I decided to take a year out to get some much needed work done in the studio and take stock of my falconry. My friend Steve Williams asked if he could come down to Devon for the end of the season this year and fly Maisie, my daughter's namesake, which I agreed to whole heartedly. He flew Maisie on some of my ground last year, and sadly my good friend,Dave Scott from whom he acquired her,was unable to come out with us that day and so missed her surgical kill of a partridge. So this time we arranged with Dave to fly on his ground. After too much chatting, drinking coffee, and waiting for the weather, we eventually got started. Dave is very fortunate to live on his hawking ground. Nick Pitts, the owner is very supportive of Dave's falconry and with Dave's help runs a farm shoot, in return Dave gets to fly the majority of the ground with it's long strips of game cover and rolling lift conduscive slopes, it's a good place to fly. When it was Steve's turn , we elected to try with the help of Dave's dog to find Maisie a point. After a brief distraction of her putting a rather foolish magpie into the cover of the gully she started to mount. The wind direction was not the best for this spot and she worked hard to get to an admirable pitch. We were hoping for a pheasant, but flushed a single grey, that headed straight down the field towards the bottom gully. Maisie was facing the wrong way, and not placed well, but made the ground up supremely, snagging the partridge with her superb footing,just before the hedge. She then casually winnowed down into the winter wheat with her prize. Steve has certainly put a lot of work into her, it was so rewarding to see this wonderful little female showing us what she is made of. Dave, Leonard, Steve and Stan made this a great end of season day.

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