I re-visited the International Centre for Birds of Prey [icbp.org]near Newent today with the aim of honing my avian photography skills on some of the flying displays. I came here last September [photoblog.com]with my friend Sharon [webdzine.typepad.com]on birds of prey photographic course and rapidly realised how hard it is to capture birds in flight. Since then I??ve upgraded my camera to the Canon 7D (which has better autofocus and tracking capabilities than my old 40D) and bought a longer lens so I was hoping I might have a little more success. While it was still incredibly hard to catch really sharp photos of the birds in flight I??m pretty sure I had a better hit rate this time. Interestingly, although I took fewer photos on this visit it??s taken me much longer to choose my best shots to post here ?? mainly, I think, because I had more successful ones to choose from. In between the flying displays I explored the centre??s Hawk Walk where members of the flying team sit outside, posing obligingly for portraits. I also spent quite a while in the Owl section of the centre and built up quite a rapport with one of the Burrowing Owls who kept coming up to the wire to inspect me at close quarters and talk to me!