Thursday, 11 February 2010

Cold week in February

Bloody hell it has been cold this week, most of the days there has been an easterly or northerly wind coming up the field and those people brave enough to come out in this weather must have been frozen watching the birds fly because we sure as hell have been flying them!!

It was a bitterly cold Monday and was trying to snow on and off for most of the day. Dick came in and Holly, Adam and I spent much of the day spring cleaning Barn 2. We caught up the Grey Buzzard Eagles first and scrapped, scrubbed, cleaned and painted their enclosure. They have new perches, a clean nest ledge, clean wire, well raked sand, and they have had their beaks and talons trimmed. Which reminds me, I was recently sent the cover of a new book on peregrines and it looks like it will be a good book when it come out, but it is let down for me because the in the picture of the tiercel peregrine’s head on the cover the falcon has an over grown beak, and this spoils it for me, I did email them and tell them and even Photo shopped the picture to show them what it should look like, but I guess it is a done deal now. If you look at various bird of prey website you will see a very high number of birds with beaks that are far too long!

We managed to get that enclosure and the Common Buzzards done as well as flying the birds, feeding, sweeping about 13 thousand leaves out of the upper corridor of Barn 1 and even doing a flying demonstration for two very intrepid ladies who braved the cold for not one but two demonstrations!! Mike finished the new Eco drain in the car park and started on the running leak in the path under the tree archway, so that should be finished tomorrow, then we move on to other bits to drain them. Surprisingly the ground is fairly dry, more than I thought it would be and so the digger lent to us by Bob Davis (thank you Bob a million times) is not doing too much damage to the grass.

Simon left for India on Tuesday for ten days, we will miss him, but he is needed for the breeding project of vultures over there. I am looking after the eggs and last night (Wed) I had a horrible dream, I dreamt that we had five Red Kite eggs, all fertile and Simon and I were doing something with them and I broke two!! What a flaming nightmare, there was a piece of barbwire involved (I have no idea why) and a fish tank that was too high, it was most peculiar, luckily the Red Kites have not laid yet so it was really only a dream!

Tuesday and Wednesday we carried on cleaning Barn 2, did really well on Tuesday with three aviaries done. On Wednesday I bravely took my Range Rover, newly fixed to Gloucester to do a radio interview for BBC Gloucestershire. However I did not get back, at least not in the XXX!!!??XX Rover, it overheated again for the 95th time and I abandoned it at Higham Golf Course and Mike collected me. Tony Buckland now has rescued it and is determined that he will do better than the other two garages. I want a new car!! Only one aviary was managed on Wed, but it was the Red tails and it was a mess, it looks much better now. That means the whole of one side is finished and we start on the other one on Friday.

Today Jan and I went to the NEC in my little van, we needed to go to the Spring Fair, which is for stuff to sell in the shop. We had a good drive up, and spent about three and a half hours racing round stands looking for stuff. I have not been for a long time and I seem to remember it being much bigger and more organised last time. However I have to commend the NEC staff, all of whom from the car park in were friendly, polite, helpful and good to talk too. All the trade stands that we stopped at were great too and we have found some nice things. There was however one stand which we were not impressed with. Stone The Crows was the name, it was a large stand and they had some very nice metal owls in three sizes and a set of metal owl book stands. So we went to find some help and were taken to a counter and asked what our postcode was. We were then passed onto one of the staff (who are in desperate need of some customer relation training!). She asked where we lived and I said that we were interested in the metal owls and lived between Gloucester, Ross and Ledbury. ‘They won’t sell there’ (!!!) the lady snapped! I have a bird of prey centre and they will I replied! It is a minimum £500 order she stated. That put us off! So I asked if they had a website and catalog. NO came the answer, we do all our business at shows and we don’t have a website or catalog!! Well they will do no business with us that is for sure and not having a website is remarkably stupid I reckon!! Ah well, we found plenty of other nice things and so you will have to come and see what we got later this year.

We got back in time to help for the rest of the afternoon, at least I did, Jan went home to look through what we had done and seen. We had an Owl Experience day and so I had a chat with them, flew some birds, brought Adam some soil, checked the eggs, and finally when all was done and I was completely frozen came in and light the fire and got on with office work. Its great to be home!!



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.

Blog Archive

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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