Helen and I were invited down to the Cape to join my old ‘shamwari’ Adrian Lombard to celebrate his 60th birthday. We have been firm friends since nursery school. Adrian is an avid falconer.
This is Adrian with a juvenile Peregrine Falcon which he is training. His main bird is a Black Sparrowhawk which, to use his words, better suits his temperament!!!?!!!
Adrian lives in Noordhoek in the Western Cape where his family runs a ‘bed and breakfast’ called, not surprisingly, Hawkmere.
The iconic Red Rapens Proteas are flowering in their garden at the moment.
The Proteas attract sunbirds and sugarbirds. Of course this is an irresistable opportunity. The next shot is of a Cape Sugarbird standing in a Cape Protea flower.
As is often the case in the Cape, the south-easter was blowing quite hard. This makes photographing with a long lens a touch more challenging.
Adrian is good friends with Hank Palmer who runs the Eagle Encounters at Spier Estate, outside Stellenbosch. We went to have a look around. There is a wonderful selection of birds of prey, many of which are in the process of being rehabilitated to be returned into the wild. Their rehabilitation success is around 60% – a high figures indeed. The next few shots are of birds of prey seen at Eagle Encounters.
The next shot is of a Cape Eagle Owl used in one of the displays.
It is incredible how much quieter their wings are when they push against the air compared with Hawks and Eagles.
The next shot is of a adult Martial Eagle. This is a massive Eagle, the biggest in Southern Africa.
The next shot is of a adult Jackal Buzzard flown in one of the displays. This is a beautifully coloured Buzzard.
The adult Jackal Buzzard has dark brown eyes, an unusual colour among birds of prey. This bird is so named because of its colouring is similar to that of a black-backed Jackal.
The next shot is of a adult Rock Kestrel. This is a stunning coloured Kestrel. It is different to the Lesser Kestrel because of its barred grey tail feathers and it is not uniformly brown colouring of the Lesser Kestrel.
Helen and I had a great time celebrating your birthday Adrian – thank you my friend. We look forward to many more years of great friendship.