When we arrived at the shoot, it became obvious that the four austringers were all experienced. Paul had brought along two Finnish goshawks, a female and a smaller male; Grant Slater had a first-season German-Finnish cross goshawk; Andrew Aitchison had a one-year-old Finnish goshawk; and Lee Featherstone had a spectacular white female goshawk.
Once all the birds had been put on the scales, they had telemetry devices fitted. These enable handlers to find the birds should they fly out of sight. Lee and Paul opted to fly their birds first. Lee’s white goshawk looked magnificent and, judging by its talons, it was certainly equipped to do the job. James, the gamekeeper, had been counting the hares during his lamping forays for foxes and, as we set off across a rough grass field, he was hopeful they would make an appearance.
We hadn’t gone more than 100m when a hare popped out of its form behind the line. Lee slipped his large female and she powered after the fleeing hare. I could not believe just how much power the bird had, and in no time she had caught up with the hare. The hare jinked just as the goshawk struck, and the bird flared up. This gave the mammal a split second to make its escape through a wall and into a hedge, while the bird settled in a tall tree.

Falconry on the North Wessex Downs

Golden eagle estate praised