Where there's a will...

Recent heavy snowfall and blizzards brought the county of Suffolk to a standstill as it was visited by the Beast from the East just a week or so ago.

The Sanctuary site was no exception with drifting snow causing a hazardous, though beautiful, landscape. Due to concerns for the safety of visitors during such treacherous conditions, the site was reluctantly closed to the public for several days.

   The usual suspects!  Falconers Nick, Liz and Harry braving the elements with our trio of Red Kites, Jester, Nessa and Bryn

The usual suspects!  Falconers Nick, Liz and Harry braving the elements with our trio of Red Kites, Jester, Nessa and Bryn

The falconry team struggled through the frozen wastes to continue their dedicated care and attentive monitoring of all the sanctuary’s resident birds and to remain on call for hospital casualties.

   The long arm of the falconer, brushing the snow from one of the high ledges in the Red Kite aviary

The long arm of the falconer, brushing the snow from one of the high ledges in the Red Kite aviary

Although all birds of prey are well equipped to deal with sharp drops in temperature and adverse conditions, staff still observed their charges diligently to spot any vulnerability swiftly and to prevent the health of any bird being compromised by the unusual situation.

In order to make sure that all birds had extra resources to draw on, feed quantities were increased and the temperature of the mews room in which the non aviary birds are accommodated overnight was raised.

   Our Steppe Eagle, Mir, was totally in her element as she exercised on the frozen  flying ground.   

Our Steppe Eagle, Mir, was totally in her element as she exercised on the frozen  flying ground.  

Falconers increased the frequency of their usual observation rounds and daily checks were carried out on all outside accommodation to ensure that roosting spaces all remained dry and draught free.

Owls and other birds of prey possess extremely thick and plentiful plumage in order to deal with sudden periods of inclement weather and under the watchful eyes of the falconry team, all Suffolk Owl Sanctuary residents took the snowy conditions in their stride - it was evident that some positively enjoyed the experience!

   Our friend Mishka the Snowy Owl also felt totally at home in the white stuff - her cousins in the wild are able to withstand temperatures as low as -40º C, though it didn't drop quite as low in normally Sunny Suffolk!

Our friend Mishka the Snowy Owl also felt totally at home in the white stuff - her cousins in the wild are able to withstand temperatures as low as -40º C, though it didn't drop quite as low in normally Sunny Suffolk!

We look forward now with optimism to the more favourable Spring weather which will, hopefully, encourage a successful breeding season.