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Old 12-05-2015, 06:55 PM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Smile Work Experience Diary

Hi Everyone

I have mentioned on the forum before, to sum of you, that I have an upcoming work experience. I have now completed the 1st day and have decided to write a diary for the two days. I also have a few photos that were taken when I was there that I'll post on when I can. The work experience was at a local falconry centre. I will do post two after I have completed the next one on 18th May. Hope you enjoy:

1st Day(Monday 11th May 2015):

I really didn't know what to expect of today. We went to pick up my friend Henry who was coming as well at around 8:30AM. No trouble getting there and by now I could hardly sit still I was so excited! We was greeted by one of the staff at the centre. Our first job was to wipe down the surfaces of the bird shed with a bucket and sponge that became all to familiar throughout the day there. Once that was done it was bath time for all the birds at the centre! Our job was to clean all the baths and then fill them for every bird. The Bald Eagle's bath looked more like a swimming pool and took 5 large watering cans to fill!

After that we was given the lovely job of cleaning out the travel boxes. Yes that was sarchasm, especially as they had been at a show over the weekend. We then had to clean off some of their perches which were much heavier than I thought, especially the bow's. Next were a load of bins that neede emptying and cleaning, by now the guests who were doing their Falconry experiences had arrived and the working day was in full force. I should wish to mention they currently have a baby Female Eagle Owl who was cute as anything who we was constantly giving attention to as she needed to get used to the different people.

Finally, at around 1:00PM we had a lunch break behind one of the small buildings on the estate which is the usual staff lunch spot overlooking the tennis courts. The owner of the centre, who I know well, came in to help out flying the Falcons and came to say hi. As he did, we all heard some comotion coming from where the chickens are usually kept (by the estate farmer) they came running out being chased by a Fox. It was quickly sent on its way as we all know they are a threat to tethered birds. It was quite an eventfull lunch to say the least!

Our first afternoon job was to prepare some day old chick for the bird's that were being flown in the afternoon. I had to put them into boxes of 50 and then cut them up into smaller tidbits. It was Savanah an Immature Female Bald Eagle's turn for her flight. She weighed in at just under 8lbs. It was a great day for it and the thermals were good so I was hoping for a good soaring flight from her. She was flown in the sheep fields overlooking a large valley so the location was perfect for an Eagle. At first, it looked as though she was going to perform well as she took off from her perch and landed on the gloved hand of one of the people on the Falconry experience day. When she took off though problems started to begin. She got into a lovely soaring flight only to choose a tiny tree which had very thin branches to pitch in. Of all the trees, most of them big she had to pick the tiny one! She wasn't in there long because her weight snapped the branch she was on so she then flew into a large Oak and wasn't coming down anytime soon. The staff were still trying to establish a weight with her and she had been flying well on her current weight for weeks. Just goes to show what a difference it can make. We all left one of the Falconers to deal with Savanah so the people who were on the experience day could fly an Eagle we went to the lawns to fly Margeaux a Mature Female Blue Chilian Eagle. Slightly smaller than Savanah but still a decent weight,, she flew well. By now the Falconers had caught Savanah and she had been returned to the aviary when we got back with Margeaux.

We then took out Nanook a Mature Male Gyr Falcon. He is a beautiful bird and very well-behaved and trustworthy. He was taken with the experience day partakers and other Falconers to the same fields as Savanah. He performed well and recovered quickly, obviously in a fit state. He really used the sun to his advantage and most of us were blinded by the end. He did very well and all went to plan with him. The next bird to go out was Lurch a Mature Male African White-Backed Vulture. He weighed in at around 10lbs and is the heaviest bird currently at the centre. He is very hard to handle and even the Head Falconer struggled at times, he can also be quite tempremental and kicks up a bit of fuss when taken out of the aviary. He also has bags of character though and that's what I liked about him as well as being nicely coloured. He hadn't been flying to visitors long so he was only allowed to stay on the glove for a second or two before being called to the ground. This is where I had my close shave. The Head Falconer was walking him back to his aviary and he has a special set of scales that the Falconer stands on as well and they just deduct the weight of the Falconer and that tells them roughly how much he weighs. I thought it was a clever way of doing it. Anyway, I was given the scales to put away whilst he was about ten metres in front of me walking towards his aviary, I was handed the scales by the Falconer and I turn around to see him locked onto me and flying straight at Me. As you can imagine that's a pretty scary thing but luckily he landed just in front of me. All was well and he was back in his aviary, job done!

The next flight was from Hartley an Immature Male Bald Eagle and Savanah's brother. It is his second season and the day we was at the centre was his first day back off his moult. He was at a higher weight because of this around 7lbs 10oz but usually at around 7lbs. He was put back on the creance to be on the safe side and prepared for his forst flight of the second season. He had to be grounded several times by the Falconer and I've never seen something more un-graceful in my life! He could only do about five creance lengths bless him because he was really un-fit from the moult. He was breathing very heavily so we called it a day with him. This is when Me and Henry got some flying time with Fosters a mature Male Harris Harris of nineteen years old! He was electrocuted whilst flying by landing on a pylon presumably, but survived! He is living with a nervous system problem which means he twitches his head alot. A lovely bird and a joy to fly, never missing the glove no matter what the flight!

Dad arrived around 5:30 to pick us up so we got an extra half hour there and said goodbye to the staff and birds and left them to fly Cinders a Mature Female Canadian Great Horned Owl. I had yet another brilliant Falconry day and Henry enjoyed his first time doing it. His face was a picture when the bird flew to him the first time, reminded me of my first time, magical!

Hope you've all enjoyed this diary post and sorry if it's to long. That's what I get like when I start talking about the sport I love! The next entry will be a few days after the 18th May 2015 so keep a lookout for that. Any comments are much apreciated and hope you liked it!

Happy Hawking

Bradley
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:47 PM
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EdenJohnny EdenJohnny is offline
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Nice write up Bradley, keep them coming please.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:52 PM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdenJohnny View Post
Nice write up Bradley, keep them coming please.
Thanks for taking the time to read it John! Glad you like it. This is part 1 so part 2 will be coming roughly the same time next week. I have the second work experience on the 18th May which is next Monday. Keep a look-out for it then everyone who has enjoyed part 1.

Thanks

Bradley
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:00 PM
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EdenJohnny EdenJohnny is offline
John Winder
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradazthefalconer View Post
Thanks for taking the time to read it John! Glad you like it. This is part 1 so part 2 will be coming roughly the same time next week. I have the second work experience on the 18th May which is next Monday. Keep a look-out for it then everyone who has enjoyed part 1.

Thanks

Bradley
Just graft like f"""" keep your mouth shut, and OPEN YOUR EARS & EYES and you will do well, best o luck, but do ask questions ,but do not bombard the others listen and learn . atb. Johnny
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Old 13-05-2015, 07:45 AM
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Hardcore Hawker Hardcore Hawker is offline
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Brings back memories of starting my first Job at Colchester Zoo really exciting times.
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Roll up Roll up to see the show:D
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Old 13-05-2015, 08:24 AM
TomOlivia TomOlivia is offline
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Good stuff Bradley, you are giving yourself the opportunity to learn far more than most care to do prior to getting into real falconry (if that's what you're hoping to do). Michael.
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Old 13-05-2015, 11:19 AM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcore Hawker View Post
Brings back memories of starting my first Job at Colchester Zoo really exciting times.
Glad you could relate to it! Thanks for the comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomOlivia View Post
Good stuff Bradley, you are giving yourself the opportunity to learn far more than most care to do prior to getting into real falconry (if that's what you're hoping to do). Michael.
I would get a bird now but it's just not possible because of school work. I will get a bird once I have left school though, I might as well study now so I'm prepared for when I do decide to get a bird. Gives me something to do and I really enjoy it!

Happy Hawking

Bradley
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Old 21-05-2015, 06:59 PM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Default Re: Work Experience Diary

Hi everyone. I've got my second work experience to share with you all! I hope you enjoy it and I did big time. Here we go:

We was with a different Falconer today. One thing that didn't seem to change was the heavy involvement of a bucket and sponge! Our first job was to clean down all the surfaces of the aviary before the daily guests came for their Falconry experience days. It's such a great motive to work around the birds and I really didn't care what job I got because I knew I would be around them. Next we had to clean out the on-site toilettes, one of the daily jobs the Falconers here are given. After that we had to clean out the transport boxes with the centre's two vans. The birds were given their daily baths and by now the guests had arrived. We weren't accompanied by a baby Eagle Owl that day but two young Harris Hawks! I've never seen a young Harris in the flesh before so that was something new. We then sorted out all of their archery gear which they also run at the centre. The weather that day was not on our side at all. The typical thing is that it brightened up when we had to leave! It was an absolute downpour in the morning. We attempted to fly Maggie the Female Hooded Vulture. I say attempted because she was finding it very hard to fly bless her. I've never seen a bird fly sideways before! She looked like a wet dog by the time we finished flying her.

After we had lunch in the tearoom we had to interview one of the staff as part of the work experience to gather information for mine and my friend's coursework. I had one of my good friends Henry accompany me for both of the work experiences. It was his first ever time doing Falconry and he did very well. After lunch we was able to get some more practical flying in with Cinders the Female Canadian Great Horned Owl. She is beautiful and has tonnes of character and is the queen of the funky owl dance! We was able to have a great time with her as she behaved for us during her flying time. One of the Falconers had to go and do a show for a group of Brownies with a couple of the owls. We helped get the birds ready for their journey and saw them on their way. Me must have done something to help each and every one of the birds at the centre in some way, it was a long day. We was given the job of de-yoking the chicks for the birds and preparing the food for the rest of the day. I was surrounded in my idea of paradise. I always got a sense of pride when I saw a bird benefitting from something that I had done. I was able to say that I got that bird its dinner. Thankfully, I didn't get attacked by any Vulture's this time! The evening turned out really nice as we bid farewell to the centre and the staff for the day.


This is unfortunately my last work experience for now. I have enjoyed each and every minute of them and it won't be something I'll be forgetting in along time! I do have some photos that were taken that I'll upload when I can. I will also let you know what grade I get for the assessment that relates to the work experiences. I have to write a 1500 word report for this and I will not know my grade for at least a year. I hope you have enjoyed my write ups on this. Any comments are much appreciated and I will get the photos up ASAP.

Happy Hawking

Bradley
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:20 PM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Smile Re: Work Experience Diary

Started my GCSE report on the work experience now! Harder than I thought, 1500 word essay. The joys of being a student! I bet none of you miss this kind of stuff, especially annoying for me because it means I can't get a bird whilst I'm in school.

Bradley
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