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nature at leeds castle
General14 March 2023

Falconry & Wildlife March Blog

March 2023 – Falconry & Wildlife Blog

Its March! Where has this year gone already?

It felt like we blinked and February was over!

Speaking of Feb, we had a really successful Half Term! It was the first solid week of displays for us since Christmas and it was great to see how the birds absolutely loved the crowds of people!

We’re introducing some new elements to the falconry display which we’ve been practicing, we’ve added more hawks to part of the demonstrations, we’ve gone from 1or 2 to 3 and even 4 on some occasions! Its amazing to watch them work as team and to be able to show people just how incredible these birds really are!  We’re really pushing the education side of things, we do a lot of this anyway but we wanted to add more into our area.

We’re about to start big training for summer season which starts on 1st April, we’re expecting busy displays and meet the bird’s sessions this year so we’re just making sure the birds are ready for it!

Falconry wise this is my favourite time of year, this is BABY season! We currently have 6 pairs of birds that we expect could all potentially breed this year so we’re getting our brooders ready and preparing for what could be a mega baby season! We’re so lucky to be able to hand rear the babies and look after them until they move onto new homes, it’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job and, because I’m obsessed with Owls, it’s one of my absolute favourite things!

Wildlife wise, this is a great time of year, we love it because there so much to see especially in the bird world! We have Chiffchaffs around with their easily identifiable call and the beautiful Blackcaps hanging about eating all the berries! We’ve seen lots of Tree Creepers too, they’re one of my favourites, very easily missed as they blend in incredibly well to the trunk of the tree, look out for their lovely white chest once you spot that you won’t miss one again!

You may have noticed that many bird species are busy gathering nesting materials, we’ve seen numerous Magpies gathering twigs and sticks to build a nests, just more signs to prove breeding season is well underway!

As a team we witnessed something amazing a few days ago, we saw Eurasian Buzzards breeding on the Estate, this confirms our theories that they’re nesting and raising babies here, which is great news and definitely one to shout about!

We’ve had a mix match in weather over the past few weeks meaning everything is a little all over the place! The Daffodils are fully formed in some areas, a little earlier than normal, but beautiful none the less.  This flower really adds some colour to the woodlands and Wildlife Garden, looking forward to seeing them in full bloom around the edge of the moat.

With flowers, generally comes insects, again a little early but we have seen signs of Bumble Bees and a few species of Butterflies hanging around too, as mentioned in previous blogs, we’re big Butterfly fans so its great to see them making an appearance. We’ve seen Peacock, Red Admiral and Comma in the wildlife garden, we’re eagerly awaiting the Brimstone which is a beautiful butterfly often seen on Bluebells!

On a slightly different note, still wildlife related, but about fish! Pike breed this time of year and although I’m not an expert on fish but I do find them quite fascinating, especially Pike, I think they’re really interesting.  Not only are they huge but, they’re quite spectacular hunters and you are able to see them do this in our waterways! Pike are almost stationary whilst seeking prey to hunt, if you watch for long enough you the stealth attack, it’s really quite impressive!

Look out for these weird looking fish especially in the Cascade where the red bridge is found!

If you’re reading this blog and think of a question you’d like answered or just to chat with a member of the team then do get in touch!

We have a great team of staff and volunteers passionate about what we do, so if anyone did want to chat about the wildlife please do get in contact!

The Falconry & Wildlife Team!