Just a few words about myself. After having had a very keen interest in wildlife in general since an early childhood but particularly in birds and specifically in birds of prey I decided back in 1990 that it was time for me to learn a lot more about birds of prey.
This ultimately led to me sharing my life with a female barn owl called Tashka, and so the saga began.
With some excellent advice and pointers in the right direction, (thanks again Alan) my learning curve had just gone vertical. Over time I discovered the joy of living with and flying free birds of prey and over the years my extended family has grown somewhat as has the interest in what I do, this led to the forming, initially as a hobby, of A1 Pegasus Hawking, a dream I have held now for many years for sharing the privilege of knowing and my passion for these magnificent hunters with others.
I first started working with A1 as their carpenter building aviaries mews and weathering's when nick asked if I wanted to go flying with the birds one weekend so I took him up on the offer and haven't stopped since. I’ve travelled up and down the country with A1 taking in a lot of information form a few different people and met some weird people (Dex) and a few wonderful people but have really enjoyed all aspects of falconry and hawking o yea and Bran. I feel nick and Helen have taught me so much over the last 2 years that I had the confidence to go and get my own bird now and hopefully stay with and work with all the A1 team.
I decided to get in to Falconry because I have always had a slight interest in it but decided to take it further when the opportunity presented itself . I enjoy interacting with the birds and hope to own a bird of my own one day.
I joined the young falconers club because it sounded like fun and because i'd been interested in birds of prey for a while. Since joining i have had the opportunity to get to know and work with a variety of birds which i have really enjoyed. Being part of the young falconers club has been a great experience for me and I hope to carry on working with the birds of prey for many years to come.
I’ve always had a love for animals, imparted on me through family.
The awe of birds became more prominent with age but i had no idea how to get into doing anything about it, especially with the limited amount of time.
I have being a full time student. A1 Pegasus Hawking allowed me the chance with a friendly atmosphere that you can't help but love and working with the birds just gives an indescribable fulfilment.
Like many before me I first became aware of falconry when I saw a display and was immediately attracted. I attended a course, which really brought home to me how much I wanted my own bird, read the books and joined a club before finally getting a female Harris. I still fly her and have flown a variety of other birds but my real passion is the peregrine falcon flown at game, especially grouse. When I set out I was unaware of quite how addictive falconry was and how much time and effort is involved. I know now and I have been an addict for many years and flying birds of prey is really what I do, it's more than a hobby it's a way of life.
Where to begin, I started Falconry at the tender age of 12 at my local collage, there was a class run by Jim Burrel and John Rafferty, as the introductory course was only eight weeks long, Jim advised me ask Helen for a voluntary placement so I did, this taking place initially at her home before Dryburgh Falconry was open. I helped with the birds every saturday in training and flying the birds where I became very fond of Kewi. After a few months I became very keen to own my own bird so it was near my 13th birthday Helen got me my first bird Trigger, a male Harris Hawk and with the help of my dad and Jim I take hunting on a regular basis. When possible i still help Helen and Nick with A1 and participate in a lot of events held in the Scottish borders. This year I came down to help with the international balloon fiesta and really enjoyed the experience of flying the Gyr Perigrine to such a large public audience. Thanks Dec's for all your help both past and present, you are welcome any time mate, Helen & Nick, watch out for that maroon beret?
I first met Helen 3 years ago when i visited her Falconry centre at Dryburgh, i have always been fascinated in birds of prey, especially photographically. I started taking photos for Helen at many of her events and enjoyed the challenge, as for now i get a phone call where and when and if possible I’m there to help A1 Pegasus Hawking, even getting my hands dirty. I must admit I have a special bond with Bran, who just loves to bite me back. Thanks to Bill for all the lovely photos that you have done for us, much appreciated, Helen & Nick.
I enjoy coming to A1 as it gives me a unique chance to work with all different types of birds and learn about their welfare needs. I have worked with raptors and owls before but nothing as great an experience and opportunity as what Helen and Nick have given me. I have met some amazing people (yes this does include you Andy) and i hope to be working for A1 for many years to come.
Good Friend to A1
What can we say?
Alan has been there from the very beginning with sound advise, good tips, and a lifetimes worth of wealth in experience and knowledge, which he has been happy to pass on. We do frequently and with his blessing (hopefully) will continue to disturb his peace and quiet for pointers in the right direction for many years to come.
Alan, your help and advise, as always is invaluable and gratefully received from all at A1 Pegasus Hawking, a very big thank you.