Sunday, 11 April 2010
What a glorious few days and we have been busy!! The day after we released the common buzzard, another great day dawned, it is fun to work hard in such weather and we had an owl Experience Day, the only sort of down side to that was that we could not fly Hemp, she is sitting on her first egg! However all the other owls did well. I flew Calusa at the end of the day because I am still not confident with him. As I picked him up someone shouted - look out, the buzzard is here, and he was!! So I put a pickup piece on the post and in he came and sat and ate it looking very content, he then ate another two chicks, greedy pig! The following day he was on the post in the flying ground by 9.00am!! He then stayed around all morning and when Adam went down to the field to fly a couple of falcons in came the damn buzzard, and scared Topaz off, who then would not come in, so Adam, Simon, Zoe and Josh spent the next two hours trying to persuade her that it was safe and the buzzard was not there, which was true because they were on the next farm but one by this time!! We finished off the hawk Experience day and decided that this was not going to work. So Holly did her first winding up of a bird. She put a chick on a line, down came the buzzard, she wound him up and jumped on him!! Result! He has now gone to outside Bromyard, with one of the work experience lads, and is happily eating chicks on top of their stables and living free in the field next to them!!

Saturday was hectic, Adam was off doing some mad bicycle thing, with threats from me that if he fell off and injured himself he would be doing the flying demonstrations from a wheelchair! Holly and Robin had their days off, Simon took the last Hunting Experience Day of the season, they stop until Sept now, and that left me to do the flying demonstrations. Luckily Dan, Ali (who needs longer trousers!) and John Dowding were all there to help, we also had a photography day, sometimes I think I take on too much. However all went well, John flew three owls alone, first time, pretty good, he was only shaking a bit! Topaz bit me, all the birds went well, the audience was great, the hunting day went well, the photography day went well and the flaming buzzard was not there!! However we did have seven proper wild ones soaring overhead on queue which was lovely.

The Bald Eagle is AMAZING!! Yesterday she flew in front of a large crowd, who were great and stayed very still while I brought her down and took her away again. She flew about six to eight feet from one A frame to the other. Today, well............!! 20 feet plus in a strong wind not a hesitation to be seen and no bating on the way down or back, my arm is aching though!! She really is coming on a treat and very light in the air, even if not on the fist! We are pretty excited about her.

Simon managed to put the baby Griffon Vulture back with the parents two days ago, and the female was wonderful, she took to it immediately, no problems at all, and Simon has been going in to give it a feed to make sure that it is being fed. However today both parents were feeding it and when Simon went in it had a huge crop. So we are delighted about that.

The injured Peregrine from Symonds Yat, did I tell you about that, hang on I will look, nope, it does not look as if I did. About 10 days ago we had a call about a Peregrine from Symonds Yat. So they brought it over, generally we don't have the time or staff to collect injured birds. I have never seen a bird so deeply in shock, she had been attacked by a new Peregrine coming into her territory, her eye was a mess, but I could only find head injuries and decided that a very quiet evening was the best thing, with no handling or mucking about with her. The next day she was still with us, which I have to say surprised me. Simon very kindly took her to Neil Forbes, our brilliant vet that evening. He could only work on her for a short while because he had to stop because she was still so much in shock. The eye did not look good, However the Tuesday after Easter he dropped in and had a look at her. The eye was down, we had been treating it three times a day, she has about 75% vision back in it, or will have. She is eating well and beginning to get a handful, which is good.

Now comes the dilemma, firstly can she manage with less vision in one eye. That is easy enough to check as we can train her and see what her accuracy is, however if we release her here, soon, she will go back to Symonds Yat where the other female has taken up her old nest site, and she will probably get killed. I spoke to the RSPB guy there and he said that at all the sites along the river Wye there are intruder birds. SO don't let anyone tell you that Peregrines are rare or not doing well, there are tons of them, only limited by nest sites, and they are quite often killing one another in competition for the good nest sites. As for this bird, we will train her and probably wait to release her until she is past breeding time and it is safer to let her go.

Oh and Watamu, the Verreaux's Eagle is back out in the Hawk Walk and hopefully will start work again 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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