On the walk to the abbey we came across the most amazing sight, this HUGE bird that looked like an eagle eating a pheasant. It was just next to the fence by the path, and just watched us as we walked past.
You could see it had a GPS locator on its wings, but also leather straps on its legs. There is a Birds of Prey centre nearby so figured that… they maybe just let the birds out???
The day after the walk to the abbey we visited the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Helmsley and watched the flying demonstrations, and we recognised the bird -she is a Grey Buzzard Eagle called Zonda.
The trainer was talking about her while the Zonda was soaring overhead getting ready for the show, and then suddenly she just swooped down and killed a pheasant in front of everyone. The trainer apologised and while trying to clean up the feathers said yesterday she just bloody disappeared in the middle of the show. He ran through the woods to find her but she was just sitting in a tree and he had no idea what she had been up to.
We knew what Zonda had been up to…
You do have to feel for the pheasant population of Helmsley, where the main pastime is shooting pheasants, and everywhere else around the town is within reach of about 20 of the largest bird-killing raptors in the world.