Intermewed Peregrines

Until now it has been only in the 2017-18 season that Staffordshire Gamehawks have had the opportunity to fly one of our KWF hawks for a second season. 'Pepsi' was the hawk, and she went on to surpass her outstanding first season in terms of pitch, style and quarry taken. The 2022-23 season offered us a rare chance to see just how good our KWF hawks can be when flown following a first moult and two of our Spanish Brookei production from 2021 didn't disappoint. 'Caracortada' & 'Alya' spent their second summer together in a large hack pen with a number of other falcons and were taken back up in September 2022. After being carefully enseamed they both made their first flights of the season to the kite at over 500ft and then were given several weeks on the kite/drone to greater heights until considered fit enough for wild quarry. Caracortada killed a mallard duck from 421ft on her first outing whilst her sister knocked down a teal at the same field meeting. Three days later and back on home ground Caracortada made it two from two as she killed a drake mallard in a 161-mph stoop from 676ft in fantastic style. She continued to fly high as she killed two more mallards in her next three flights before tragedy struck her down in her pomp to leave her with four kills from five flights and a seasonal average of 529ft. Alya then continued where her big sister left off - just missing out on duck kills from 574ft and 646ft then scoring on her 5th flight of the season from 608ft. Three further kills from 640ft, 551ft and 773ft followed before Avian Influenza Prevention Zones curtailed her already short season as she bowed out with a nice drake mallard taken from 844ft - giving her a seasonal average of 573ft. Between them the two 2021 KWF Spanish Brookei falcons took 9 mallards in 18 flights with a combined seasonal average pitch of 561ft and improved markedly in terms of kill percentage, stoop speed and average pitch from their already impressive first seasons. Alya was moulted out on the block (due to AIP zones preventing her movement well into April) and Staffordshire Gamehawks had a first opportunity to fly one of our hawks for a third season. Her first flight of the season was 645ft to the kite on 2nd November 2023 and she still had a pair of primaries and a pair of tail feathers left to drop. Two weeks later she flew to 650ft on a club field meeting and the following week she killed a mallard duck from 658ft. Her season then went from strength to strength as she accounted for 7 mallards, a drake teal and a various in 24 duck hawking flights with an average pitch of 650ft. Included in the above were two of the best flights at ducks I have ever seen as Alya flew to 1000ft plus over enclosed ground and caught (and lost to water) a mallard duck and knocked down and killed a mallard drake. It is hoped that Staffordshire Gamehawks will continue to have the opportunity to fly our intermewed hawks and that from time to time these fantastic high-flying game hawks will be available to other discerning falconers following one or more seasons' experience.