Raptor show

Last Saturday my mom and I left home at 10:00 for a raptor /falconry show at Kittery Trading Post in Maine.
The raptor show we went to was called The Raptor Project inc. The show is run by Jonathan Woods, master falconer and wildlife rehabilitation, and his wife Susan Woods. They have the largest traveling collection of raptors in the world.
After doing some shopping we walked over to the tent right before the show started. He had an amazing selection of raptors a lot of them suffering from past injuries, including a red-tailed hawk hit by a car, a golden eagle hit by a pick up truck well-being flown at jackrabbits, and their mascot a 25-year-old bald eagle who lost part of his wing when he got hit by a semi well feeding on carrion on the highway. “(As you can see a lot of raptors injuries involve collisions with motorized vehicles.)

Even before the show started one of the birds made a big impression. The Eurasian eagle owl sitting placidly on his perch, locked his eyes on a Pomeranian who was sitting right next to us. Jonathon Woods had to ask the owner to leave since there’s no dogs at the show. The owl went from being content to hunting mode in second. I was totally surprised to look up and have this massive owl staring in our direction.
He flew so many amazing birds from the crested caracara that ran around on the ground and sounds like a penguin when talking, to the massive Golden eagle Maria.
The raptor project also had baby american kestrels and barn owls. So cute!
They flew one of my favorite raptor an Apalamado falcon, which had to be flown on creance because once at a sports arena it took off after a pigeon, both birds falling into the crowd.
I’m so happy that I went and got to see all these amazing birds plus a few more.

My dream bird an apalamado falcon.    When I got my photo taken with the bird the first apalamado kept bating off the glove so he had to switch to the baby.

My dream bird an apalamado falcon.
When I got my photo taken with the bird the first apalamado kept bating off the glove so he had to switch to the “baby,”

Sakasa kebari fly pattern,

This is my first fly tying post I’m still working on it the pictures are a little blurry.

Some good web sites to visit are:
http://www.tenkarabum.com
Flyanglersonline.com
http://www.tenkarausa.com

Ingredients:

1. Daiichi curved size 12 hook,
2. Red 70 Dener thread,
3. Peacock herl,
4. Pheasant feathers,
5. Head cement,

Start thread in middle of hook wrap to bend then wrap to two eye lengths from hooks eye,

Start thread in middle of hook wrap to bend then wrap to two eye lengths from hooks eye,


Tie in peacock herl,

Tie in peacock herl,


Wrap peacock herl around hook shank to create a thick collar,

Wrap peacock herl around hook shank to create a thick collar,


Make the tip of the pheasant feather so it looks like this,

Make the tip of the pheasant feather so it looks like this,


Ty in pheasant feather and wrap around hook shank so it the hackle faces forward,

Tie in pheasant feather and wrap around hook shank so it the hackle faces forward,


Whip finish and head cement,

Whip finish and head cement,

I present my fly to the fish by casting upstream and letting it drift through all the eddies, and riffles.

I got the Suntech Krunei HM30 for my birthday back in April. I haven’t really gotten to use it, but over the last week I’ve had a blast trying it out.
On Wednesday I fished up at the boat launch on Harrisville pond and caught my first fish a small yellow perch. After a few more casts something hit hard, a 12+ inch chain pickerel. I didn’t have time to worry about my rod braking as the pickerel bent my rod into a perfect C. I almost had him when his teeth cut the line taking the fly with him.
Then today I went down to the local fire pond and the creek chubs started biting instantly. My second fish broke the 1 pound test line off the tip of my rod and took my tanago bobber and everything else with it.
I saw him swimming around, so I thought I might be able to grab the bobber if I had a boat. So I ran up to the house and called my grandpa to see if he would drive my jonboat down to the pond. He came over and loaded it into his truck and we drove down.
I didn’t end up getting my bobber back though I saw him swimming around well I continued fishing.
After the fish took my micro fishing set up I switched to elk hair caddis which turned out to be too big. so I switched to a pheasant feather dubbing damsel fly wet fly.
There was barely a cast where I didn’t have a fish on as I worked my way along the lily pads in the jon boat.
I was mostly catching creek chubs with The males with horny spines on there head.

Creek chub,

Creek chub ( Semotilus atromaculatus,)

 

Which where pretty good fighters on such a light rod.
I was casting at some ripples when some thing slammed the fly I thought it was another chub when a Golden shiner come over the side of the boat.

Golden shiner,

Golden shiner ( Notemigonus crysoleucas,)

The thing I like about fishing is you never no what your going to see. Today I found a eastern king bird nest with two eggs on a partialy submerged stump on the edge of the pond.
Then I saw three white tailed deer running along the power line corridor there summer coats shining in the sun reminding me of the impalas when I lived in Africa.

First impresssions

About a month ago I received in the mail the KLAX Lumberjack, from Klecker Knives.
When my dad first told me about it I was a little skeptical thinking it was just one of those multi tools that had way to many functions and wasn’t that useful. But after getting to use this axe for a while I’ve discovered otherwise.
The stainless steel axe head is well made and splits branches into kindling like nothing. The added functions it has aren’t overkill, it has a bottle opener/ gut hook, hex wrench set, 1/4 inch bit drive socket, a built in knife blade, laynard hole, and a carabiner.

image

The knife blades position which I questioned at first when I cut my self, is perfect for planning out a bow or paddle.
I’m not sure about using the hex wrench set because I’m worried about chipping the axe blade.
The axe comes with a hardwood handle that fits perfectly in your hand. You can also use a straight green sapling for the handle. This axe is perfect for backpackers, mountain bikers, or backcountry skiers. It fits easily into your backpack or onto a belt.

As the company says “KLAX it’s more than an axe.”

Ice fishing, sportsman pond, fiztwilliam, Nh,

On the 18th of January I went ice fishing on sportsman ponds, which is just south of Laurel lake in Fitzwilliam, Nh.
I drove out with the group by ATV, which was really fun.
When we got out there the guy who owned the bob house started heating it up. He also drilled some holes for tip ups, he set mine in a tear drop shape away from the bob house and he set his in a straight line.
We set up our tip up with the shiners hooked through the lip which was different from the first time I went when we hooked them through the back.
It was pretty windy out so our holes kept being filled up with snow which was really annoying.
The first fish I caught was a yellow perch,
The only other species of fish I caught was a black crappie ( Pomoxis nigromaculatus,) which I should have kept and fried up. (Yum),

First crappie

First crappie

There was a fish that made the flag go up and I kept trying to hook it because it kept striking the Shiner up to the hole,
The guy we where with caught an 8 lb largemouth bass, and a “lake snake” which is a chain pickerel.
I learned how to use the auger it was really fun it cut through the ice really quickly. image
When I had to go home at noon I didn’t want to leave I was having so much fun. The yell of FLAG, the slipping and sliding as you ran to a hole, and the fun of pulling a fish through the ice.

Ice fishing, laurel lake, nh

Yesterday I went ice fishing for the first time on Laurel lake, Nh,
I went out and set up my tip ups baited with medium shiners hooked through the back, I also brought a my Shakespeare fuel ice jigging rod along. Sadly the fishing wasn’t that great, with only two people catching Rainbow trout, image
I learned that you can also hook shiners through the lips instead of the back.
Laurel lake seems like a good lake to start on it being stalked with rainbow and brown trout, and having a population of pickerel, large and small mouth bass, sunfish, and white perch,
I would like to try some other lakes sometime though,
If its your first time ice fishing I suggest bringing tip ups, amount depending on your local laws, a jigging rod, depth finder, micro bobbers(or buttons), filet knife, an auger, and a bucket of shiners, worms, or other bait depending what your fishing for. image
Dress very warmly because you can get hypothermia very quickly if you fall through the ice or if it starts raining, as it did yesterday,( I was freezing ) I suggest lots of wool, or synthetic layers,
Also bring snacks for you will get hungry out on the lake or just eat throw the first good-sized fish on the grill.
Happy fishing,

Ice fishing

The woods become cloaked in a white blanket, and the lakes are starting to freeze true winter is upon us, it’s the time of year to get your ice fishing gear ready for when the ice is thick enough to walk on.(never go on a frozen bodies of water if its closed, or you’re not 100% sure it’s thick enough to hold your weight,)
I’m preparing to get on the lakes, for pike, panfish,and if I’m lucky the master of the cold deep lakes the lake trout,

This is my first year ice fishing so I’m going to you’s some tip ups found in the attic of my grandfathers garage,

image

This is the way to set up an ice fishing tip-up line, I have a hook with a wire tippet attached to a nylon line, in the nylon line is some nuts you use as weights and the button is to set the line at the right length,

I’m going to use minnows hooked through the back for pike, trout, and other carnivorous fish, and crayfish and grubs for panfish,

Falconry, trapping

For my first post on falconry I’d like to focus on methods of trapping. I’m going to talk about each method of trapping individually.

Netting methods,

#1 Bow net,
The bow net is a net that flips over the raptor when it goes at the bait, it was popular among the Dutch falcon trappers how trapped and sold raptors in the dutch city of Valkenswaard,

#2 Dho-gazza
The dho-gazza a trap developed in India is two nets the that collapse onto a stooping falcon as it chases an escaping pigeon.
image

#3 Mist net
The mist net is commonly used by bird banders, and scientists studying bats, the net is very light so it is not visible to the birds being trapped.
Pigeon are used as bait being tossed into the air so they flutter their wings, in turkey they use female shrikes as bait for sparrowhawks, sense the females shrike is brighter in color,

Noose methods, image
# 1 Bal-chatri
The Bal-chatri is a trap that houses the bait which can be mice for kestrels or pigeons for hawks, the trap can be many shapes and sizes depending on the species being trapped,
When the bird of prey dives down to the trap trying to get at the bait the get their talon entangled in the nooses that cover the trap, This trap is effective for many different species,
It’s very popular that it can be dropped quickly on the side of a road or in a field and you can park within sight and wait for a bird to fly over,

#2 Pigeon harness
The pigeon harness is a vest that you strap on to the pigeon it has many nooses on it so when the raptor dives down to kill the pigeon its talons get entangled in the nooses.

War of the whales book review,

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War of the whales I just finished reading “War of the whales” by Joshua Horwitz.
Is about Joe Reynold’s law suit against the U.S. Navy’s underwater sonar training that stranded 17 whales on the shores of the Bahamas of which 14 were beaked whales which are little known since they spend their lives diving down deep on their quest for squid. The Bahama’s stranding happened in the year 2000. Ken Balcomb, who was doing the beaked whale survey in the great Bahamas canyon, saved as many of the whales as possible.
The book tells about his struggle against the U.S. Navy, the history behind Sound Surveillance System or SOSUS for short.

It took me a while to read because some parts were a little slow but there were always good reads in between so I read the entire thing,
I really liked the way it was written by date and end note at the end of the book so You can learn more about the subjects, and people written about in more detail,
I give this book five out of five stars and would recommend it for anybody interested in cetacean (whales) anatomy and behavior, and people interested in environmental law.

The kakapo

The kakapo ( Strigops habroptilus,) one of the world’s most amazing parrots, when you think of a parrot you probably think of one of the many species of conure, or the scarlet macaw, but the difference between these birds and the kakapo is that the kakapo cannot fly, weigh’s up to nine pounds, it lives on the ground, its. moss colored feathers let it blend in with the ferns and mossy ground of the forest,
It lives on only a couple of islands off the coast of New Zealand, it used to also live on the mainland but was eradicated by introduced rats, cats and possums that killed there young and ate there eggs. It almost became extinct but a team of volunteers and scientist are helping it to come back from extinction.
It only breed’s every few years. The male calls from a lek,( a slight depression in the ground,) Their call is a very loud booming which can carry for a mile or so.
The females lay there eggs in thick vegetation and hallow logs,
They forage at night looking for edible vegetation and climbing trees for fruit.