Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Four lectures in three days, phew! Actually to be more accurate two of them were in one place so I am not sure that counts, although very different audiences, so perhaps it does. The only reason I am writing this at this ungodly hour is that I have just got back from London and my electric blanket needs time to warm up!! And for anyone who lives in a cold house and has not experienced an electric blanket, you have no idea of the bliss you are missing!

My first lecture was to a falconry club, not a huge audience I have to say, and a long drive to Coventry, but it was good to see a couple of old friends, and a test for the Range Rover – it failed, did the trip up and the needle stayed slap bang in the middle on the temperature gauge – hooray I thought, we, OK Tony, has fixed the problem, no more over heating, but no. On the way back it started to creep up past the half way mark and then climb to hot up every hill or when the engine had to work. However I made it home. Monday I had two lectures at what I would call a primary school, one for the 4 – 5 year olds, not exactly highbrow stuff, but probably the hardest to do of the four talks, and the other to 9 – 10 year olds, which was more fun. The range rover was getting worse, temp gauge all over the place up every damn hill and there were a few. Woodland Venture (Asian Brown Wood Owl) behaved well though, although that is more than could be said for Airborne (Boobook Owl). Anyway I decided it was not worth taking the range rover to London, so we dropped it off back at the garage.

Which meant I had to take the lovely little green van, great, perfect for a drive to London and back, and I never have managed to get the damn radio to work! Oh well, it uses less diesel, so that is OK!! This time the lecture was a joint one with four of us speaking about the vulture crisis in the Indian Sub Continent. I started with an overview of Eagles and Vultures worldwide (all in 15 minutes!) leading to the three Gyps vultures in South East Asia, and Diclofenac. Rhys Green took over and gave all the facts about how we were sure it really was diclofenac, Richard Cuthbert went on to describe the advocacy programmes to bad diclofenac as a veterinary drug, the Vulture Safe Feeding Zones in Nepal, the research into a safe alternative to diclofenac and then handed onto Nick Lindsay to talk about the captive breeding side of the project. It all went very well, and was pretty much seamless, although all of us know one another fairly well, so we could work together and produce a good final product. We were given drinks and a nice meal, and then I drove home. It was a sod of a drive with fog to thick fog, to very thick fog. And what I want to know is what the hell were those people doing on my road on the last 11 miles, why weren’t they in bed at 11.45pm, and needless to say they were driving like slugs, which was somewhat infuriating.

The dogs were pleased to see me, which is always a good home coming, although I was rather less pleased this morning when I came down to find Sedge inside the kitchen waste bin. Acer was looking as if butter would not melt, but we know she is the one who knocked it over, and then left Sedge to carry the can, once he had come out from inside the bin!

And now my electric blanket should be warm, so Nettle and I are going to bed!



I have to say that keeping a weblog can at times become compulsive and at other times a chore. Sometimes I am berrated for not keeping it up and sometimes I get wonderful comments from people who follow the news of the Centre.

It is fun to share the daily goings on here, some good and some bad, some funny and some sad, but all a part of our daily lives.
And as I said before its a pretty cool to be here and it is a great place to visit, you should try coming and watching the birds and meeting the staff and of course the dogs.

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An interesting video on Lead

An interesting video on Lead

I find it staggering that people who want to hunt don't see the value in changing their ammunition from lead to a safer product. We have stopped using lead in petrol, in paint, in our water pipes, but they still want to use lead - ah well, apparently eating it not only kills birds but leads to reduced intelligence in humans......................

NO ONE is asking you to stop legal and genuine hunting, they are just asking you to change your ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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