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Reach for the Skye

An excerpt from an article by Judy Vickers

. . . We don't see any eagles either, so we decide to visit Isle of Skye Falconry to get close to birds of prey.

With owners Euan Naylor and Jenny Sandiford we take Struan, a ten-month-old harris hawk, for a walk in the magnificent grounds of Skeabost Country House Hotel.

It is like a dog walk, only Struan doesn't need a collar, he flies from tree to tree, following us and landing as lightly as if he were one of his own feathers on our gloved arms.

Euan, a second generation falconer, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject - did you know that falconry started in China around 2000BC? - and the couple's enthusiasm and the thrill of coming eye to eye with a bird of prey makes this a magical afternoon.

"How long do these hawk walks usually last?" I ask Jenny. Well, it's supposed to be two hours, but you know, we get talking.

Of course, that'll be timekeeping Skye-style.

Contact Isle of Skye Falconry on 01470-532489.
Visit www.isleofskye-falconry.co.uk.

The Edinburgh Evening News,
July 2003

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