Monday, 5 October 2009
I am looking forward to seeing some Spanish falcons fly.
Carl Cheshire from GAMEHAWKER will also be there ,so if you need a new hawkbox or
dogbox he will be able to help you out.
Friday, 25 September 2009
September for me is one of the highlights of the calendar year. With my spare time starting to be devoted to the readying of falcons for the season and the feeding of game on the various pieces of ground that I fly on . But also the birding side of things takes on a different hue, with migrants starting to leave and the countryside looking heavily to autumn and winter. I visited South down farm on one such day and could really feel that pace of change on the wind. Watching the swallows hawking insects on the wing, fattening themselves for the journeys that await them. Because of bad weather the harvest seemed even later than last year .As I drove around the farm, there seemed a hint of melancholy and a wistful lament at the passing of summer. However this was a beautiful day bright, clear and warm. September can be a wonderfully mild month at times and brings certain clarity to the wonder of autumn. I noticed a cock Cirl Bunting singing from one of the many gorse lined hedges near the old quarry, His “Zorro” like markings giving him the feel of a bandit Yellowhammer!! I often hear the Cirls before I see them. They have a dry “zeehhh” or “Zit Zit” calls. A lot of Colin’s farming is aimed at helping the Cirl population here. Ravens croncked over head And Cock pheasants proclaimed their locations around the farm by their chorusing. I watched as the resident pair of kestrels systematically worked the area of wild bird mix that I had seen the Hobby at. The female at one point stooped down and caught something. I watched her return to a nearby post and start to eat what appeared to be bright green lizard. I later identified it as being a male sand lizard. This was a little sad as I found out that they are rather scarce and protected. Obviously not from Kestrels!! Later though I did see a Sparrow hawk actively chase one of the kestrels and it looked like a pretty serious attack as intended on a prey item. The Sparrow hawk did pull off after about 50 yards. Which shows that nature does not favour anyone when it comes to survival?
Further to the North West along the coast is the river Yealm. Every year without fail one particular Osprey makes this his stop off point to and from Africa. Known as Mr Green to some of us he always gives me and a few more serious birdwatchers a wonderful few days each April and September. I do not always catch him every year, but when I do it is always worth it. Some of my friends have been recording his movements for what must be around ten years at least. This year he was joined by a young female for a day or two and they hunted together on the river. She moved on a week ago now. He does not always give us close views but he always seems to have his regular trees that he frequents and he’s a good model when perched in the right place. Soon, as he departs our shores for the warm climate of Africa we will see the local birdlife change in complexity as again more migrants come to our area from the north and so everything shifts again to the pulse and rhythm of the seasons.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Driving along the tracks of the farm, I watched as a kestrel worked one of the old hedgerows of the farm and its ample grassed margin running out to the track. I stopped the truck and sketched her as she worked towards the vehicle. Swallows whizzed by on flashing purple wings. She was harassed by two Magpies like two troublesome boys picking on the local swat on her way home from school. She ignored their machinegun clatter and peeled back over to resume her work. I drove on towards an area of wild bird mix planted this year by Colin the farmer .It will give cover and food through the harder months that will follow. Skylarks sang around me and I stopped to draw them and the Charms of Goldfinches foraging amongst the thistles at the edge of the crop. The Field known as Decca had been in Oilseed rape this year and now had been cut ,the tall stalks giving perches to the flocks of linnets wheeling then dropping down to feed in amongst its stalks. The flocks did seem restless and soon the reason revealed herself in spectacular fashion. A female Hobby came dashing in from nowhere scattering the feeding Goldfinches which bailed into the cover nearby whilst others scattered like rice being thrown at a wedding. She missed in her attempt and just carried on as if she were just playing tag. What a wonderful bird one of our most spectacular migrants that always brings a bit of excitement to a day in the field.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Thank-you to all of you who have bought your calendars ready for next year, and sent us messages to let us know how pleased you are with them. We're really pleased with the response we've had and I'm sure we'll bring out another Andrew Ellis calendar for 2011.
We're chasing a handful of people who have paid deposits some time ago but not paid for their calendars in full.
I have written to those concerned at the end of last week asking for a quick reply,as I wasn't having any luck with emails.There is now a waiting list of people who'd like a calendar if one becomes available.
So if you are one of the people concerned please please please get back to us , if i don't hear from you by the weekend i will have to return your deposit and sell your calendar to someone else- sorry but i can't wait any longer when there's people queuing up to buy them.
Don't miss out on your Andrew Ellis calendars, if you've already paid a deposit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on the phone number that was on your letter,you can pay the balance and we can get it sent straight out to you.
Monday, 3 August 2009
The Hood featuring a painting on each side panel was especially commissioned by the eastern region and will be part of the raffle prizes. There will also be a talk on Merlins by Grant Hagger and Tony James which should be very interesting to anyone that has an interest in flying these beautiful little falcons. I will be there also with artwork prints etc
So please come along and support the Eastern Region by Helping with the raffle
Non BFC members are also welcom
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
We'd like to say a big thank-you to everyone who helped to make our weekend at the falconry festival a great success. It's important to publicly thank some people, because without them we couldn't have done it. Andy's parents for looking after Joe and Maisie, Carl from gamehawker for making our display panels,and helping to put them up. Jamie, Chris and Kerry for helping on the stand.And of course everyone who spent their hard earned cash! It was great to see familiar faces and catch up with old friends, and Donna enjoyed the opportunity to put faces to the names she's been in contact with via email.
Thank-you everyone who took part in our draw at the falconry festival to win a limited edition paper giclee.
The lucky winner is......
Lauren Milhall from weston super mare
Thursday, 18 June 2009
“The flying of falcons “ by Ed Pitcher, a much awaited publication is soon to be released. It’s not a “how to “book, it instead describes a philosophy of flying falcons that mirrors their natural development. It challenges some of the traditional preconceived ideas about how to fly falcons, and will prove an interesting read.
A few years ago on a visit to the U.S I was staying on a friend’s ranch which was being managed by fellow falconer, Daryl Peterson. Daryl had casually mentioned that Ed Pitcher lived nearby. Ed Pitchers name in the world of Falconry has become synonymous with the flying of falcons to the extreme limits of visibility and altitude. So it is with fond recollection that I remember back to that one afternoon visit. We sat and chatted about peregrines and in particular the Red shaheen that Ed had flown and I listened awestruck as he recounted experiences that he had with this and many of the other falcons he has flown. When asked by Ricardo Velarde to contribute to this new volume written by Ed I did not hesitate. Ed’s unique viewpoint and freethinking mental approach towards the training of falcons has become for me a breath of fresh air. It has been a great honour to be involved with both Ricardo and Ed on this book and I hope you take from it as much inspiration as I and many others have.
I am pleased to have contributed about 14 paintings, plus sketches, to be used as illustrations for the book. One of them “My girl” is a painting of one of my own peregrines, Missy.(pictured above) You may have seen the original of it displayed at the falconry fair a couple of years ago. We are now putting this image into print in time to be launched at the falconry festival in July. When the original was displayed it attracted many favourable comments, and so hopefully this will prove to be a popular print.
You can learn more about Ed pitchers new book "the flying of falcons" by clicking here
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
When we launched the Andrew Ellis premier edition giclee “The chase is on “, we decided it was an ideal opportunity to support the work of The cheetah conservation fund. Each time one of the giclees sells we make a donation of 15% of the profit to the CCF. When 2 of the run of 25 sold last month we were really happy to be able to make a donation which we know will go to help the very important work that the CCF carry out.
The CCF have a vision “to see a world in which cheetah’s live and flourish in co-existence with people and the environment” and to achieve this are involved in science and research programmes, and they’ve managed to reduce the number of cheetahs killed on commercial farms through education. CCF has close links and assists in training and sharing programme successes with other countries where cheetah live, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Iran and Algeria. CCF's international programme includes distributing CCF materials, lending resources and support, and providing training through Africa and the rest of the world.
The plight of cheetahs symbolizes the problems that many predators face throughout the world.The world's fastest land animal, the sleek and long-legged cheetah, is losing its race for survival. Once a common animal found on five continents, the cheetah is now an Endangered Species. Loss of habitat, conflict with humans, as well as its own loss of genetic variation, are the main threats facing the cheetah today. The cheetah needs large expanses of land to survive, but with changes in land use and habitat pressures, such as bush encroachment, this area is becoming smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, captive breeding efforts have not proven meaningful to the cheetah's hopes of survival.Cheetahs have existed on earth for at least three-and-a-half to four million years - long before any of the other big cats that are alive today. About 20,000 years ago, cheetahs were common throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America
The number of cheetahs has decreased from 100,000 at end of the 19th century to approximately 10,000 today.
So please consider helping this worthy cause.
Remember 15% of the profits from the sale of each copy of “The chase is on” by Andrew Ellis go direct to The Cheetah Conservation Fund.
To find out more about the work of the Cheetah conservation Fund visit www.cheetah.org
Monday, 18 May 2009
Within the range of 8 cards, we've chosen a mixture of animals and birds, they are available to buy singularly and as packs. As with our prints and the new calendar for 2010 , we are happy to send the cards worldwide.
Here's 3 of the images which are available.
"Broken silence"- timber wolves
"Get 'em up"- pointer and grouse
"Springbok clash"- springbok
Over the coming months Andrew will be explaining the story behind each of the paintings used in his new range of cards.