Odd this day

8 June 2017

Coates
3 min readJun 8, 2024

(Firstly: if you’re disappointed that these are not coming out very often: sorry about that. Full-time work and an election campaign are getting in the way. If you’re happy to be getting these infrequently: as you were, but please feel free to scroll back through the previous months of nonsense.)

So… if it’s 8 June, that can mean only one thing. YES, THAT’S RIGHT! It’s the seventh anniversary of the Tatler article about the man with the falcon sex hat, published under the admirable headline:

Tatler feature headline: Meet the man who pleasures birds of prey for a living
 It turns out it’s an extremely lucrative living, thanks to the Middle Eastern royals who flock to him for his pedigree falcons. By Sophia Money-Coutts

Here, because I don’t think this is the kind of detail a responsible writer should make their audience wait too long for, is a photo of Bryn Close, the man in question, wearing his rubber inseminating hat while a male falcon copulates with it:

A middle-aged man with a strange rubber hat on his head. It appears to be perfectly circular, and domed in the middle, and is full of tiny holes. A falcon flutters above, its groin apparently in contact with the hat

Apparently, male falcons can’t get enough of that hat, even though it bears not the smallest resemblance to a female falcon. (Admittedly, I’m not an expert, but I am pretty certain on this point.)

I’m not what you might call a regular Tatler reader, nor terribly interested in absurdly rich people in the Gulf states racing birds, but I can recommend this. It begins

You’ve just missed me extracting semen

and continues not to disappoint.

The article came about because an image of 80 falcons being flown to Saudi Arabia earlier in 2017 went viral, and — presumably — some enterprising editor at Tatler thought it worth following up — or the journalist (Sophia Money-Coutts, whose Twitter bio once admirably read “Not a made-up name, a real journalist”, or words to that effect) saw it and pitched.

80 falcons wearing hoods sitting in economy class on a plane

Whoever had the idea, they were right. Bryn’s backstory (poverty, homelessness, prison) is fascinating in itself, and the falcons have names such as

Raquel, Fast Lad, Nasty German and Shitty Arse.

Master falconer Bryn has also been profiled by GQ, and, er… the Daily Star:

…but only the Tatler covered the sex hat, which I find inexplicable. Surely that’s the best bit? Ah, well. Each to their own.

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Coates

Purveyor of niche drivel; marker of odd anniversaries