Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire
Eagle-eyed wildlife photographer Rob Ward, from Cinderford, shares his love of the International Centre for Birds of Prey near Newent.
Jemima Parry-Jones with an Eagle Owl
Rob Ward writes the following...
Have you ever wanted to see Golden Eagles or White Tailed Sea Eagles without having to trek through the Scottish Highlands? How about a Eurasian Griffon Vulture without having to travel to Asia?
Well you may be surprised to learn that these magnificent Birds of Prey can be found a lot closer to home than you imagine! Newent to be exact!
The International Centre for Birds of Prey opened in 1967 by the father of now Director Jemima Parry-Jones MBE and it can be found approximately two miles outside Newent town centre.
I have been visiting the centre for the last six years and I always look forward to my next visit.
My two daughters also love it there, especially when the birds are flown in one of the three daily displays.
Have you ever had a Peregrine Falcon fly past you at 100mph? How about a Kestrel hovering just above your head?
It is an experience that words cannot describe; you have to be there to get a true feeling for what goes on in our countryside every day.
Many of the birds have been injured in the wild and nursed back to health in the centre; they now have a safe haven to live the rest of their lives.
With the arrival of Golden Eagles and White Tailed Sea Eagles as well as many more special birds expected by the end of March 2009, the centre will also be excellent for photography.
As well as snapping the bird's portraits you will even be able to practice you're in flight shots during the three flying displays, which see's different birds each time.
Did I mention their breeding programme? There is currently a Eurasian Griffon Vulture egg in an incubator! I for one can't wait to see and photograph this bird when it takes its first flight.
This article is an external contribution and expresses a personal opinion, not necessarily the views of the BBC.
last updated: 13/05/2009 at 15:41
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