Thursday, 10 December 2009
A lovely lovely day weather wise, sunny, warm, well pretty warm, although the temperature dropped fast once the sun dropped low in the sky in the late afternoon. We started early with raking and collecting up the pruning of the Hawk Walk last night. Got it all clear and tidy (and now there is more!) Then John and Pete and Simon mixed concrete for the last enclosure floor, that got finished and is now snuggly under a sheet of plastic to protect it from the frost. Then everyone, with Josh added to the team, and except for Holly and I, did clearing of all the trees and shrubs that the pruning team had chopped yesterday and today. They all worked SO hard, dragging all the stuff across to the fire, and I felt horrifically guilty not helping them, but we had the course to teach. The worst of it is done – clearing that is! And tomorrow it will be just raking up all the smaller bits and making all look tidy.

The Course went well today, the weather helped a great deal! They learnt lure swinging, and then got Casper to catch the lure, and I have to say they all learnt very fast which was nice. It is always much more difficult to swing a lure when the grass is wet because the line gets soggy very quickly and a wet line makes for a more difficult task. We watched Adam’s eagle doing nothing (!) then we covered hooding and Dawn Run was very good about being hooded by all. That was followed by telemetry, Holly had hidden a transmitter off site and they went to find it. It is so important to know how your telemetry works and what to do with it before you have to use it looking for a lost bird. After lunch we did condition checking – seeing how physically shaped a bird is by touch. Then we flew some of the birds. That was followed by imping, putting a bandage on one of the birds, and then tea in the house with lots of talk and questions about training. We did not finish until 6.30pm, but a lot got done.

One of the nicest things I think I was able to feel today, as I was raking the Hawk Walk before 9.00am, was that the Centre has got back to being a living place. It was interesting to hear from the zoo inspectors last week that the atmosphere was so very different on their inspection this time as opposed to last time they came. Instead of a feeling of staff with no care or pride in their work, and an atmosphere of lack of interest, this time the Centre was full of enthusiasm and interest. I remembered thinking that when I saw it last year in November it was a sad place, untidy, in disrepair, with a feeling of failure, and now it is a vibrant place, that is cared for, that is, despite still such a lot to fix, well loved and respected and moving forward. It’s a great feeling and mainly due to the staff and volunteers who work so very hard, and those who have felt it worthwhile enough to join as members.

Mike finished the day by clearing the path up to the Indoor HawkWalk from the garden, which was all over grown; a mini digger can do great work with the right person in the driving seat! We put all the flying birds in the Indoor Hawkwalk this evening as it is supposed to freeze tonight. Sedge may be getting to wear his jersey soon!



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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