Last Sunday we visited Corfe Castle, where they were holding a medieval falconry show. It was fascinating; we learned a lot about how to train the birds in the old way, and were treated to a flying display. We’d had no idea how many different types of falcons exist. On display were a Saker falcon, Lanner falcon, Peregrine falcon and the smallest one was a Barbary falcon. As its name suggests it was originally from the Barbary Coast of Africa, and brought to the United Kingdom around the time of Queen Elizabeth the first.
The Saker falcon seen here was definitely the star of the show when it came to a flying display. The others were in various states of training and were not allowed as much freedom, but this one just loved to soar, right up to the top of the castle, and then swoop down just above the heads of the crowd. It was magnificent.
Although the Barbary falcon was the smallest, it appears it’s the most fearless, and I certainly wouldn’t want to meet it when it’s hungry! It will attack an eagle, or any prey it deems worthy, without a second thought, whereas the other falcons may look for an easier prey.
We thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we spent watching and learning, and in such a beautiful place as this.