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Old 29th April 2009, 05:22 PM   #1
ScopsOwl
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Smile A Trip out to a Bird of Prey Centre at North Biggleworth, Bedfordshire.

Another lovely day, so we decided embark on another trip out to see some more birds once more. So we set of at 10am in the morning and made our way towards Shuttleworth, Old Warden Park, North Biggleswade. There is an air field, a Bird of Prey Centre and a Swiss Garden to visit.

What a beautiful place a very large area of land full of woodland, open fields, and lots of space to move about.
We arrived and headed to the Bird of Prey Centre, and had a good look around. As we walked to the main gates, we could hear lots of Warblers, and a few Goldcrests making their lovely little circular spurts of song. A couple flit about the branches of the Conifer Trees above the centre. A Blackcap threw out a song as we passed the scrubs and trees. The songsters where doing their best to out compete each other as always at this time of the year.

We looked at the birds, and where amazed at some of the birds present. I am not in full agreement about captive birds, but it is good to see them up close and personal. The Eagle Owl, and a tiny Scoop Owl where our favourites. The Eagle Owl was very impressive to look at. A Cuckooborough (sp) was in amongst the BoP, and was making itself heard all around the centre.

A couple of Vultures where sunning themselves in their cage. It was becoming a hot day and the birds must have been feeling it too.
There was a show of birds for 30 minutes, or so, and it was fabulous to brush shoulders with the resident Barn Owl, Long Eared Owl and Eagle Owl we where treated too as part of the display. So beautiful to see and each bird as they flew brushed over our heads so. My OH and I could feel the down draught of the wings as the birds flew over our hair. Gosh they could devour a chick whole which was something to see. No chewing their prey (chicks in this case) just swallow the prey all in one go. We where given lots of information to think about an the plight of the Owl. I feel I have learned something new now.

By the area where we saw the Owls, a Magpie lands and started to make an alarm call at the BoP’s being so nearby no doubt. Lots of Rooks where looking for food amongst the grass. A good sized Rookery existed in the grounds. so that is where all the Rooks thrived in their dozens. They stayed together in a loose group everywhere we walked about in the ground area. They where not bothered about our presence at all.
On our way back for our cup of tea, we could see a Common Buzzard in the distance flying in circles as they do. Must be the thermals which the birds love to fly with, so it makes them look like they are gliding rather than flying.

I could hear and see Swallows and Swifts flying around in circles above our heads. A Chiff Chaff radiates a call from the distance and its call travelled throughout the whole airfield. I past some scrubby trees and a group of Long Tail Tits where moving around uttering their little calls to each other. A Blackbird chorused loudly and killed of any more singing from other birds.

We went back to the Restaurant, and had something to eat and drink to be confronted by a Male Peacock standing next to our table. What a beauty he was. Never seen one so close up before. I think this one likes his food too much. The same bird kept producing this wailing call every so often like he was trying to say something to someone or a mate.

My OH went through to visit the Shuttleworth Aircraft Museum himself, and I went for a quick wander about to see what birds where around in the unused car park on the other side of the road.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker made its presence known from the nearest tree, and yet more Warblers. There was no shortage of male Chaffinches and Goldfinches either. Lots of birds covering a large area between one area of woodland to another. The airplane landing strip covered a large area of grassland.

I bought an up to date Collins book on Wild Flowers and studied it for a while enjoying the sun and what it had to offer. We left about 2.30pm or so, Just a quiet jaunt, and that was about it bird watching in two ways one wild and the other captive.

Last edited by ScopsOwl; 29th April 2009 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 29th April 2009, 09:13 PM   #2
ScopsOwl
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Pictures of the birds at the Bird of Prey Centre
Eagle Owl, Long Eared Owl and Barn Owls

Picture 1 - Owl
Picture 2 - Owl
Picture 3 - Owl
Picture 4 - Owl
picture 5 - Owl
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File Type: jpg IMG_0033.jpg (48.5 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by ScopsOwl; 29th April 2009 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 29th April 2009, 09:27 PM   #3
ScopsOwl
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More pictures .......

Picture 6 - Sign
Picture 7 - Peacock
Picture 8 - Peacock
Picture 9 - Coot and chicks
Picture 10 - Owl

and my first attempt at working my new camera ......
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0035.jpg (59.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0041.jpg (46.7 KB, 3 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_0030.jpg (49.4 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by ScopsOwl; 29th April 2009 at 09:29 PM.
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