Ever since my brother's wife Katie bought him one of those titles where you become a Lord I've thought he probably would suit a bird of prey.
With (Lord) Jamie Lawton
So when I saw this falconry experience online I thought it would be perfect. It seemed like a decent deal, three hours seemed like a generous amount of time to learn how to fly a bird and actually get some practical experience in.
It ended up there was a centre near my parents house they could offer it at so we headed down there as a family thinking that mum, dad and Katie could spectate and enjoy the outdoors if the weather was nice.
On arrival at the farm where it would be taking place we checked in and waited for the teacher. By the other people gathering we realised the group was probably going to be quite big at this point.
And then it began. Three whole hours of birds of various types. Which was fun. For a bit.
Sometimes we just looked at them.
Sometimes they landed on us and we held them.
One time we even dropped them.
It became slightly farcical as they brought bigger and bigger birds out each time for us to hold. Then we waited as every person in the group had the same experience. Gave the same shriek as the bird flew in to land and looked the same look of disappointment when their time was up.
After the eagles came out we both realised we physically probably couldn't hold anything bigger so gave in and sloped off to the coffee shop where my parents were waiting.
It was only on getting home we realised we hadn't actually flown any falcons! This photo though makes up for three hours in the rain being flapped in the face by wings: