We first encountered the Hawk Conservancy at Longleat where they put on the most amazing display, ending with about 5 vultures and 9 kites all flying together, inches from our heads! It was superb and we instantly decided to visit their Andover site on our way home later in the week.
The site has a huge range of birds; from tiny owls to massive sea eagles, with hawks, falcons, vultures and many more in between. We enjoyed the 'World of Birds' display, especially Madeline the Secretary Bird demonstrating her snake attacking skills and Frodo the Tawny Eagle catching a (dummy) rabbit!
As well as the organised display with their resident birds, a highlight for us was the wild bird feeding session in the meadow. With food put out and the bell rung, we were soon treated to visits from the local inhabitants; a heron, a buzzard, a kestrel, crows, magpies and a wild red kite. We'd never seen one in the wild before so my photographer husband was in his element trying to capture the moment! And it was great to then get a close look at Scarlett, the centre's own resident red kite, posing with a keeper as we left the hide.
All in all, a brilliant place to visit and we were sorry that we had to leave at lunchtime to drive back from our holiday - would have loved to see the later displays of eagles and woodland owls. The experience days and VIP evenings sound great too - wish we lived closer! Definitely worth visiting again and I think it will become part of our standing itinerary for future trips to the region.
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