All's Well...

A week is a long time in falconry, and just seven days ago we were all very much down in the dumps following the break-in at S.O.S., during the course of which 10 owls were irresponsibly released by vandals as they smashed their way through 30 of the aviaries at the centre, leaving a trail of some £2000 worth of damage to locks, woodwork & netting behind them.

Police continued to use the evidence they gathered to find the perpetrators, and want to speak to a group of three men aged in their late teens to mid 20s who were seen walking along the A1120 towards the A140 near to the sanctuary at about 8.30am on Friday 6th September. They had shoulder-length hair and were carrying bags. Calls in relation to this incident should be made to Pc Paul Cocksedge at Eye Police, 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers, 0800 555111.

Meanwhile, a week later we’re very pleased to report that things are now getting back to normal. Following an anxious time when we pondered the fate of Isis, the Pharaohs Eagle Owl - the only raptor who had not made it back to the fold after an intensive week of hunting and gathering by our falconry team - a wet and bedraggled creature returned to the Sanctuary late on Friday afternoon.

Returned to the fold - Isis was safely gathered in on Friday afternoon

That was Matt, our head falconer, soaked to the skin and muddy to the elbows. However, he did have with him Isis, who had finally retrieved from a garden just a couple of miles from the centre. Pleased to say, Isis appeared none the worse for wear if perhaps a little hungry - a kindly neighbour had alerted us to his whereabouts mid-week and Matt, Andy & Dean then paid daily visits to leave food in the vicinity, but though Isis was reluctant to be caught up in the early days, Matt is convinced the thought of a proper meal was what probably diluted his resolve to remain in splendid isolation up a tree for much longer.


It has to be said we were surprised by the levels of publicity the event generated, but even more so, by the amount of sympathy and generosity which has poured forth from well wishers since last weekend. Suffice it to say your support has been very encouraging in the face of adversity, and we thank each and every one of you for your heartening messages!


Last weekend saw the East Anglian Country & Falconry Fair take place at Stonham Barns, right next to the Sanctuary, We would love to say it was a rip-roaring success - and for many it was - but the cloud of gloom being experienced by our staff was perfectly matched by the rain clouds that dominated the skies for much of the event, soaking a great many people in the process.

Nevertheless, falconers being a hearty lot and well used to tramping cold, wet and muddy landscapes throughout the winter as they give their birds the freedom of the skies, were undeterred by the downpours and all had a good time meeting suppliers, colleagues and associates as they swapped stories & experiences. We are sorry that the persistent rain may have spoiled the day for some of our younger visitors but be assured, we’ll have ‘a word upstairs’ to see if we can ensure good weather for next year’s event!