Sunday, 17 January 2016

Castles, Encounter with a Golden Eagle

The Jack Russell puppies have now all gone to their new families...this was the last one to leave and he's gone to live down in south Wales as companion to another Jack Russell where he will have a lovely life.

Today, a grey cold day, the Farmer & I took our nearly 5yr old grand-daughter out to visit Llansteffan castle. It was great. The castle is set high on a hill above the estuary of the river Towy and in its hey-day must have been an imposing sight for travellers coming up or down the river. Small grand-daughter loved clambering over the ruins and venturing up the very narrow spiral staircase in one of the towers, but of course best of all was being shown the lavatories, or garde-robes, set deep into the walls!

On our way home driving along a narrow country lane in the middle of nowhere we had an exciting and unusual encounter.
A man was walking towards us with his arm outstretched carying something very turned out to be a Golden Eagle! He took time talk to us as we had stopped the car so as not to disturb the bird and we were able to see the magnificent creature at such close quarters as we will probably never experience again. It was beautiful & threatening & wild although it had been bred in captivity in Scotland and was now being trained but I guess such birds can never been really tamed. The ferocity in its eye and the unmistakable strength in its grip on the double layers of gauntlet that it's keeper (no-one can 'own' such a bird) wore, were testimony to its power as a killing machine. It was fractious and kept flying into a bate although firm hold was kept on its jesses, it would suddenly launch itself into the air with great flapping of its huge wings and then come back to the man's arm where it would glare at us with its piercing eye. At only 18 months old it was still learning what was expected of it and it was hungry apparently. A really wonderful thing to have been privileged to see at such close quarters and wholly unlikely in the depths of west Wales.

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