Friday, 11 June 2010
My days are usually pretty long on a normal day, 10 hours would be a usual day, and that would probably not count office work in the evening. Yesterday was a longer than usual day! We were filming for the One Show who are doing a feature in the autumn on Super Senses and have chosen the Peregrine for sight. Mike, the presenter and a crew of three camera people, one sound man and a very nice director arrived at about 8.30am, we had the five day course on as well and Simon and I were going to be involved with the filming which was done on May Hill (I can’t believe the flaming National Trust asked for £100 per hour to use it – bloody cheek!!! And Greedy in my opinion – bear in mind the word National – National Trust, it belongs to all of us). We took some dummy lures down to the field and I taught Mike to swing a lure and how to throw it out accurately as we wanted the falcon to take it on the ground, or at least hit it on the ground and then turn and come back). We rehearsed with a Lanneret and then Holly’s Hybrid falcon and it went fine, he did very well and was natural with the falcons. Then we traipsed up onto May Hill, which if you don’t know it is the beautiful hill behind the Centre. It rises up to 964 feet and has a clump of Scots Pine trees at the very top which can be seen for miles and miles around. It also has a long stretch of grass which is perfect for calling a falcon a longish distance, probably over a quarter of a mile.

We filmed all day, it was bloody freezing up there and I had not taken a jersey! The peregrine behaved beautifully, absolutely brilliant particularly as peregrines are a little on the temperamental side. We were shooting with a normal camera and one called a photron, which does very slow motion. It was interesting because years ago I had done some very slow motion filming – with film, not digital stuff – with Kestrels hovering. The camera then ran for 30 seconds and then had to reload. Have we moved on, well……. Actually yes and no, the stuff they were shooting was amazing, you wait until you see it, its staggering stuff, but, it had eight seconds of real time film and then had to download the stuff onto a laptop which took 10 minutes or so, so actually the time to get the final stuff was about the same, which was interesting. We finally got down from the hill after 6.00pm, very cold and tired, the crew were a really nice bunch and good to work with, and importantly understanding of the bird and its limitations, although I have to say she showed very few of those! They then did a screen test with Holly to see if she would make a good presenter on TV, and no, we don’t know the result as yet, but finally they left just after 7.00pm - so it was a very long day.

Holly and Adam who came in on his day off had a hard day here too as we had the five day course, a school party and the normal work of the day, luckily Steve, John and Josh were all here and I have to say the people on the five day course were great too as they helped with all the first thing jobs, which was really nice to see and much appreciated by us all.

Mike carried on with fixing the loos – again – and finishing off the roof on one side of the stables. It was windy down off the hill so Adam said that many of the birds flew rather well!!

Today it has been lovely weather, we finished off the course, flew all the birds, had another school party of wonderfully behaved children – well done school and then Richard came to look at completing the new PA stuff. And now its nothing but bloody football on the TV, I hope we beat the US on Sat and after that I don’t give a damn!!

Darcy Spice (baby Great Horned Owl) has had to start to live in an enclosure outside - he is now rather too ambitious to come inside at night, he is with the baby Spectacled Owl in the photo! Hemp is back out on duty having got over being post natal thank goodness, although she is not pleased with the new weighing room!! Does not approve at all at the moment, but most of the birds especially the eagles and kite seem to prefer it.



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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