Monday, 23 July 2018

Falconry at la Rochefoucauld

Apologies for not updating the blog for so long and this post has been copied over from my photodiary.  I thought that it also belonged here, as this really is part of My Life in the Charente and I know not everyone who follows this blog follows the diary.  I have a number of photos to go through that will eventually find their way here but I seem to always be running out of time!

The castles humble beginning dates back to year 980, from a wooden camp that was built by Foucauld on a rocky spur. The word ‘rock’, in fact, translates to ‘Roche’ in French. A square keep was then constructed by his son at the same site in the 11th century.
To celebrate the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453 and to demonstrate his political power as the Lord of the region, Jean de La Rochefoucauld built three additional towers to the structure and raised the level of the main tower of the castle, thus, enabling him to oversee his domain at greater heights. The last major modification to the overall structure of the castle was done in 1760 with the construction of the West Wing.
The Rochefoucauld family have owned and lived in the chateau for over 1000 years.  It is possible to view the chateau all except the wing where the family still live.

You can see they have reverted to the old name here. La Roche à Foucauld -The rock at Foucauld.

There was a lot of events going on but my only interest was the falconry.  I have more photos than usual but I did not want to split up the post.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from North America- just look at those eyes!!...


as above...


as above...


and in flight.


The commentary was all in French so it was not easy to follow, but they said this was a barn owl.  It looked too small to me but it is certainly from the same family.  Also, I did not know which country the birds had come from; my books only cover South Africa and Europe!  Any help here please would be appreciated.


As above...


As above...


As above.


This bird I did recognise as it is a Giant eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus). Africa’s largest eagle-owl.  It was quite noisy calling often, but they did not fly it while we were there.


I believe this to be a Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) that came from America...


As above with the falconer.


Even I could not mistake this bird, the Kookaburra from Australia (Dacelo novaeguineae).  I must say it is the first time I have seen one flown in a falconry exhibition...


As above.


I think this might be a White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus). It is only two years old.


As above with the falconer...


As above - close up.


This might be a Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)...


As above with the falconer.  The birds were flying back and forth between the two falconers...


As above...


and finally a close up of the head of the above bird.



My birdblog is updated HERE

and my photodairy is HERE


14 comments:

  1. The Giant Eagle-Owl looks like he's ready for a nap! There are bald eagles around here, and it's a treat to see them in flight in the woods. One pair built a nest on the county building here a few years back, and there was an eagle cam set up to watch for the hatchlings. We have hawks and owls right here in our yard, and it's a real treat to watch the birds of prey in flight. This looks like it was a wonderful visit both to the beautiful castle, and to see those splendid birds.

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    1. Marjie the Owl did look sleepy and his intermittant call sounded like he was bored with the whole event! The chateau is quite beautiful and it has so much history, it is certainly one of the best I have visited. I am glad I decided to copy this post over to My Life in the Charante, I generally just have masses of flowers or insects on the diary but I thought this was more fitting for here as well.
      I hope that you are managing to get your life back on line again, I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you but thankfully you are not short of support. Take care and thanks for taking the time to comment. Gentle hugs Diane

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  2. Hi Diane - the Castle is pretty magnificent isn't it - and I imagine it's fascinating to see round ... and understand more of the history of the area. The birds ... so interesting to see them, and the variety - some impose, some just look cuddly. It's amazing how they've all evolved ... and it's great falconers can show us these birds: which has reminded me there's a place here I should take a look at ...

    Lovely post - and good to see you up with a post ... but life is life - visitors and gardens et al .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary I post regularly on the diary, but generally with this one I do a lot more research into the blogs I do and it is very time consuming. We visied Bordeaux earlier this year and a couple of other towns earlier this month. I have still not gone through the photos yet let alone the research, but with Nigel here now he does do most of the latter for me.

      I would be interested in seeing some of the birds around you if you visit the local place.

      Take care Diane

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  3. What a great castle, Diane! It's very impressive and I'd love to see inside it.
    The birds are great, and you have took a magnificent photo of the eagle! It's our national bird and I've never seen one. The one owl definitely looks like the barn owls here. And, the eagle owl is a cutie, he looks very "huggable." The Kookaburra is awesome also, it looks like he has a pretty tinge of blue on his feathers. Can't say much for the vultures though. :-) Thanks for sharing and take care.

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    1. Hi Pam it is a magnificent place inside as well a outside. Glad that you enjoyed this post and delighted that you are still commenting. Take care and look after yourself Diane

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  4. Nice set of photos, Diane. Went to a falconry display years ago in the UK, where they also flew some of the larger birds. It was really impressive!

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    1. Hi Vera, good to hear from you. I hate to see birds in captivity, but these have probably all been bred in captivity so would never fly free. It is impressive watching them fly. We had a good morning. Take care Diane

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  5. Bonjour Diane,
    Merci de partager ces magnifiques photos d'oiseaux que l'on a peu l'occasion de voir de si près.Les chouettes sont magnifiques et j'ai plaisir à voir les Kookaburra, qui nous rappellent nos voyages en Australie!
    Un bel été à vous!

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    1. Merci pour le commentaire, c'est bien de voir des oiseaux qui ne sont pas européens et le Kookaburra était assez différent. Nous apprécions beaucoup l'été. J'espère que vous aussi. Bonne journée. Diane

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the comment. Take care Diane

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  7. Magnificent photos! I find the close up details on the vultures so interesting. Impressive birds, all of them. Thanks Diane and enjoy your day :)

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    1. Thanks Denise, it was good to be able to get close ups, I so enjoyed the chance. Keep well Diane

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