Wiggins the Peregrine rides (flies) into Oxfordshire
Tiercel of the lakes or to the layman a Male Peregrine, Wiggins named after the cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, hatched on the 24th of March 2012 in Essex and was bought by me on the 27th of July 2012. As far as I am concerned he is a reasonably large, dark phased male peregrine. When collected he was unhandled and wary of people, the hard work began. I could even begin to count the hours handling and manning him, but after three days he was eating off the glove and starting to settle, still the hours clocked up handling and introducing him to the sights and sounds of South Oxfordshire. The more he sees, the better he is getting until he started to jump to the glove and eventually flying ten feet or so to the glove. Time to introduce the lure, a little nervous but he jumped to the lure for his food.
Four weeks now and he is out in the field on the training line (creance) and is now coming fifty feet to the lure almost instantly. It’s now the end of August and training is going well, I have had him now for five weeks and he is now coming eighty feet to the lure.
Its Friday afternoon out in the field, Wiggins is on the line, I whistle and he comes in, but oops I pull the lure out of his way, and excellent, he has turned around and come back down on the lure. Saturday lunchtime, it’s nice and warm; a gentle breeze acting normally out into the field Wiggins is placed on the perch. But, instead of attaching the training line, I take off his jesses and leash. YES, he is loose on the perch his transmitter is working with brand new batteries and I turn, and walk away from him. Heart pounding and in my mouth, I turn and get the lure out and call him. YES, he comes, flies past me and turns again. After four or five pauses I shout and give him the lure, he turns stoops, grabs and lands on the lure. A couple of minutes later he is all jessed up and attached to the glove. Brilliant, I got it right.
It’s now nearly the end of September and he is being flown twice a day, and is ranging out for half a mile or so, making about 150ft and flying harder by the day. What an awesome little bird, more to follow soon.