Friday, 30 July 2010
My brother arrives today, he lives in the southern most part of the South Island in New Zealand, I think it is about as close to the Antarctic as you can get without being in the ocean, so Bluff would be a good name for the town he lives in. My sister Anna has visited him there, I have not been that far as yet, the flight is just too off putting. Perhaps when we can ‘beam me up Scotty’ I would go!!

He arrived in Scotland last week and was staying with Anna, and now is coming to me and then going to our cousin before going back to Scotland and then flying home again. I guess I had better go shopping today as there is not a lot in the larder that anyone would care to eat!

The Griffon Vulture is doing well, he is managing albeit with a crooked foot, and Neil saw him two evenings ago and was happy with his improvement. We are using him for a DNA trial to help the vultures in India right now – he is delighted as it means he is getting Venison for five days, then Lamb for five days, and then beef, plus his usual rat, so he is happy to be the experiment! We are collecting the droppings, freezing them and we are going to see if we can tell using DNA what he has been eating. Then we can use the same technique with the vultures in South East Asia and that will tell us how high the risk factor is for picking up Diclofenac because we will know what they are eating and if there are any changes over time – clever eh!!

Holly and Adam cut out and glued a glove each, and pretty good they look too. Holly borrowed her Dad’s old electric sewing machine, but it did not like the thread, however if she moved the wheel by hand, it worked fine. So I am looking for an old Singer hand driven machine – good old Ebay!! – Oh - did not have to find one, Joan just got one for Simon!

The young Goshawk has been released, the Sparrowhawk with the wing injury is looking less of a good candidate and we have had another young Kestrel in, this time with a head injury and possibly a keel injury, right now it just needs to get over the shock and then we can do more.

Cremorne is still being difficult so we are still just handling her to get her manners better before flying her again. Adam’s new Lanner is behaving well and my new Hybrid is a very nice person. Holly has called her new Harris Hawk Domino which I guess is an apple type, I hope so anyway.

Finally we got the PA system working it took new body packs and microphones, but what a joy to get them up and running again. You just never realise how important a piece of equipment is until you don’t have it and we had two weeks of misery with the old ones before we got it ‘sorted’. I took great pleasure in hitting the old body packs with the heaviest sledge hammer we could find, Adam did the other one, you can’t say I don’t share things!
Monday, 26 July 2010
The Griffon Vulture is back from the vet with all the ironwork gone, he is doing well and if the tendon stays in place, Neil has promised that he can realign the foot so he can manage better. We need to give him some time to recover and know that the tendon is staying put. He is doing well, eating very well and behaving in his new aviary.

The wild Goshawk is going back to the wild tomorrow, he is more than ready to go and it will be nice to put him back where hopefully he will find his parents again. The baby Sparrowhawk with neurological damage did not make it, we gave him two weeks which should have been more than enough for a recovery if one was possible, but today he was seen by Neil and we had to take the decision that he did not have a future. The latest wild Buzzard with a nasty head injury is recovering, but still can’t fly, and the latest Sparrowhawk a juvenile male has been given the chance for the fractured wing to recover and see how he does. This is a tough time of the year for young birds coming in and we are getting desperate for a new hospital as we run out of space very quickly.

An old friend of mine, Biff Norman has been here with some friends of hers for the last couple of days, teaching everyone how to make good falconry gloves. Sadly most of those for sale these days are made in Pakistan or India and quite frankly they are dreadful, I have yet to see a decent one that I would give house room. So all we need to do is find an old leather sewing machine and we can make our own which will be very nice.

Its been the most glorious weather, very warm and no rain, although I suspect that the trees here would be grateful for a serious soaking. Some are already starting to turn and gain some autumnal colour and I think it is only because of the lack of water. Even my pond is looking low and covered in duck weed, which then in turn covers the dogs when they take a swim!!

I booked my flight for going to the US (I know!!!) for the RRF conference in September. I am giving a paper in the education session. Now if you book to go to the US you then have to fill in a form on line for a visa waiver. I just love it when they ask you if you have been taking drugs (would I own up to it, I suspect not!) have you abducted any children (not on your life I avoid them like the plague!) are you, or have you ever been a terrorist (well actually no, but if I were would I be stupid enough to tell you, could be one answer, or perhaps, well I was, but only as a teenager, I have grown out of it now!!) Honestly one does wonder, however I duly filled it in and will I hope be allowed in, although I have to say I don’t hope that much!

Charlie came down last week and sorted out my utility room, it is now plastered and so we have to finish it off and then I have to choose the paint. It was good to see him, and he gave me a wonderful painting by David Rampling of the Steller’s Sea Eagle from a great photo by Linda Wright, it is lovely and now adorns the wall near the piano (with no ivory) in my sitting room.

The baby Burrowing Owls, Rival and Wayside are doing well, Wayside is the one with not great eyes, but he is charming nontheless, and they are both going to be fine for demonstration in the not too distant future, which is good news.

My brother arrives soon, and I have just realised that I took the sheets off my bed this moring and it is a quarter to 11 (pm) and the bed is not made - bugger, time to get it done!
Friday, 23 July 2010
Where has a week gone, damned if I know, I go to bed on Monday night and the next thing I know it is Friday morning!! It will probably be Christmas in about three days at this rate. Its been a busy week, plenty of visitors, which is nice, and some of them have been great, only one whining child which is also great. Holly’s Harris Hawk is a sweety and already flying free. The young owls are all coming on nicely and D’Arcy Spice is now flying the full length of the flying ground when he is bothering to be looking in the right direction and not being fascinated by a tree, car, butterfly, swallow, leaf or invisible whatever! He has also killed the toy mouse which we use for a blackboard rubber in the weighing room. Holly's young Ural owl is called Bramley and as you can see is charming

The young vulture is going to have to go into an aviary as from NOW, he has been pretty good and stayed on the lawns, with the very occasional foray onto the path, however today he thought he might try the shop!! And as I don’t want him to bite a customer he is confined to barracks and we are having a move round and he is going into an aviary for his own sake, and ours!!

Sadly the Golden Eagles have had to go back to their owner, they did fine with him, but did not do well here, we had to split them apart as the male was being vile to the female. I hope they return to being nice to one another when they are back in their old enclosure.

Talking of Golden Eagles, the only one we have for the moment now is the Very Golden Eagle, who now sits on his new plinth looking huge and very impressive, it was a job to get him there and many thanks to Sarah and Mark for the loan of the tractor to lift it up there, but the result is wonderful. Now all I need to know is could we remove all the gold leaf and paint and is it bronze underneath!!

My goshawk is slowly coming on, he is a little more temperamental than I had hoped, but he is getting there, certainly kills the dummy rabbit with glee. We had a young wild goshawk in too, he has hit something and has a slight head injury, but should go back to the wild very soon. Unlike the young Sparrowhawk, that was found in the road, it was far to young to have flown there itself, so we can only guess that it was dropped by something, perhaps a crow, having stolen it from its nest. It has no balance, and has not improved since it came here, so the prognosis is not great, which is a great shame.

It seems weird to not be at the CLA Game Fair today, but I hope to get back there again next year, and its nice to be here working on the new birds, which is important at this time of their training.
The day ended today with rather more drama than anticipated or needed when Alexandria (African Peregrine) flew at full tilt into the side window of the Pavilion in the flying ground. The building has been there about 15 years and never has a bird hit it, however today that changed and we will put strips of tape onto the glass so that the reflection does not confuse the birds. She was laid out on the floor - just what you need with an audience, I picked her up and took her straight to the hospital area, where we put her in a hospital box, she was looking groggy and I remembered that the problem that you have with a head trauma is swelling of the brain, so I phoned Neil, who always has an answer for me, and we put her on 0.05 of a mil of Metacam and some fluids, the Metacam is a non steroidal anti inflammatory and should do the trick for any swelling. She is now back in her compartment and eating and looking OK, although I suspect has a headache. Here is hoping that she is herself again in the morning, although we will give her a few days off to fully recover. Let us hope that tomorrow is slightly less exciting.
Footnote; I don't know why this blogger programme puts a preview button on their programme because it is a complete waste of time, it does not tell you what you have done is going to look like by any stretch of the imagination - sort it out Blogger
Friday, 16 July 2010
Well I have to say that about the last thing you want at the end of a day is the bloody Bald Eagle buggering off, and if that is not alliteration I don’t know what is. It has been very windy for the last couple of days, and I chickened out of flying her yesterday, which was probably a good thing as it was even windier then. I let her go at the weighing room and Adam was waiting for her to arrive, the last we saw of her was about 150 feet up and flying well, away from us!! So out came the telemetry, on went the running shoes, into the bag went a creance and a rat and off we went. We stopped three times and with an eagle on a windy day you need to get in front of it sharpish, so we did and then left the van at a friends farm and trotted off over the fields, hedges, barbed wire fences, streams (twice) until we got to a field where we were getting a very good signal on 'near', and two buzzards were going banana’s which sort of gave the game away. Cremorne took off as I was frantically waving the rat about, and to be fair she came round twice looking, but the buzzards were stooping at her, as was a large gull. She landed in the hay field (baled thank goodness) and then took off again towards me and landed again, and then came into the rat, but she was pretty wound up and so would not let me get close, however after about four attempts I managed to get a jess and then grabbed her and tucked her into my arms!! Adam took all the stuff back to his van over the various obstacles, and I walked back to the Centre with the eagle, with a sigh of relief and a wistful thought that I had no tonic damn it!

The PA system has been playing up something rotten and I think the time has come to get new transmitters as they are driving us nuts right now. The plinth for the ‘golden eagle’ – a singularly unattractive metal statue of an eagle which is VERY golden – is finished and now we just have to get the eagle on to it, I think it will improve its looks no end, I hope so anyway! Otherwise one of us is going to sit up there and look imposing!
Rush is well, still on meds, but as Acer is in season he has completely forgotten that he has been ill, and is busy trying to mate with her at all the most inappropriate moments. Interestingly I would have put Indigo as top dog once Aster left, but I think it is Rush.

My sister Anna came for a day and a half, it was lovely to see her and sad that it rained almost the whole day she was here, the only rain we have had for months!! We went to see an old friend and we ate a lot of fruit, both of which was good for us.

My Goshawk is improving, he is sitting well on the fist most of the time and has had to be tethered as he is growing so fast, he doesn’t seem to mind, which is one worry done with.

I got stung by wasps the evening that Anna arrived, I have two old hay racks in the corners of the courtyard, they have been there for years, and have ivy and stuff growing in them. One has a wagtail nesting in the ivy so I have not been able to water it, so I thought I would spray the underneath and wet the roots, bad move, there was a wasps nest there and they were very pissed off, consequently two of them got me, I hope they died in the process. The resulting soreness took three days to go!!

I see in the news that the catholic church has opened its mouth and put both feet in it again, it being a crime to ordain a woman priest, punishable by instant excommunication, and a crime to molest children, (both the same level of crime!!!!) punishable by ignoring it and hoping it will all go away. Well done!! And then to add insult to injury in the true sense of the word, its going to cost us the tax payer twelve million pounds to have the Pope visit here. Well I have to say I would suggest he doesn’t come if that is the case, but of course I am only female so what do I know as far as the catholic church is concerned.

It’s a lovely evening, the long light evenings are slowly getting shorter as the summer progresses, although its still very light early on. I think the changes in the seasons are what makes this such a great place to be.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
Rush is home! Simon and I collected him last night, he is well, wants to do more than he is allowed, is certainly not off his food, but is not out of the woods yet. However it is great to have him back.

Yesterday was a little hectic, Adam and Holly were off, thank goodness John came in because without him it would have been murder. Between him and Joan they managed most of the photographic experience day, which went very well, it is a good time of year for the photographers because of the baby owls. I flew Pan for them and they should have got some stunning shots of a Barn Owl flying because he was just great. They were a very nice bunch of people too which makes a difference.

The birds all flew well, Milan rather too well as he was having such fun he would not come in, it was only when I threatened to let the vulture out regardless that he decided John was the better option! Karis gave us the best stoop of the year so far, in exactly the right place, holding his height, waiting until the last minute and teardrop all the way down, just gorgeous! We had a school party from Newent School which I was very pleased about and the kids were really good to talk to and interested. I am glad that Newent is beginning to know what they have on their doorstep. We had two bird handling sessions as well, one booked and one because they saw the other person getting to hold a bird, I told them all the funds at the moment would go towards the vultures bill, which pleased them. Talking of which, he is doing well, he is using the leg a little more and we are just now all crossing our fingers that he will be OK once all the iron work has gone, which will be about two weeks now I think.

At lunch time I talked to the teachers about another visit from a different group of students, year something or other, I have no idea what this year thing means, I remember form one to six in my school days!! And a much better system it was too. So all in all it was a busy day to say the least, and warm, and it did not bring the promised rain in the evening either.

I have been watching the news about this chap they released from prison and he went around shooting his ex girlfriend, her current bloke and a police man, and I just don’t understand why everyone is now blaming the police that he did it in the first place and that he shot himself in the end. Knowing the justice system I suspect that it would have been highly unlikely that he would have been left in prison because he was threatening people, good god, people have bullied others to death on some of these housing estates and got away with it. And why are we worried that he may have been tazered, I am staggered that immediately a criminal and yes he was a criminal, that is what you call people who shoot people, does himself in (and saves the country a ton of money!) everyone feels sorry for him. If you break the law in that way then you have to face the consequences, I guess it is that these days being responsible for ones actions and facing the consequences is something that is avoided, its easier to blame someone else. Ah well no doubt there will be a huge and highly expensive investigation which we will all pay for in the end. And to add to my delight – the football is over tonight – hooray!
Rush is lying in my office as I write, I am about to go out and see if the goshawk would like to sit on the fist and start to behave. Thank you all for your concern about Rush, he is a very special boy and hopefully on the road to recovery.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
I think it would be fair to say that tomorrow did not improve, that was in fact yesterday. After settling Rush for the night on Thursday evening I finally went to bed and read until my brain had slowed down a bit. At about a quarter to one (am) Sedge was barking and so I ran downstairs, I don’t know why he was barking, maybe to ask for help for Rush, who knows, but Rush needed it he was unable to stand at all and was basically quadriplegic. He is a reasonably heavy dog, so I sort of carried and dragged him into the office as the other dogs were getting very wound up and phoned Eden Tanner again. He said bring him over, so I went down to the flats and woke Adam who instantly said he would be there, (what a star) and threw on some clothes, having realised that I had my skirt on inside out, grabbed my stuff, settled the other dogs and Adam carried Rush to the van. He stayed in the back with Rush and I drove to Ledbury, it’s a windy road, but its amazing how you can straighten it when you need to.

Rush was quiet in the car, but once we got him on the table at the vets he was seriously stressed and crying very loudly and obviously disorientated and scared. So Eden managed to get in an IV, which Rush was not helpful about, and administered a very slow dose of barbiturates to calm him down and put him out. It seemed to take for ever to have an effect, but finally it did and he settled, and Eden put him on a drip. Then the next question was what the hell was wrong, whatever it was certainly was extremely fast and aggressive as he had been perfectly normal at 4.00pm and virtually paralysed by 1.00am. Adam and I left wracking our brains and Eden stayed with Rush doing the same thing.

The next morning he was the same and I phoned several times during the day, we both thought that it was not his back, it just did not seem to be the right diagnosis, it was something neurological. So over the day Eden treated him, and we decided that whatever happened he was reasonably settled and not in stress or pain because of the various medications so we needed to give him a chance and the various drugs to kick in.

We had organised a BBQ for friends, and helpers and it seemed wrong to cancel it so we went ahead, and lots of people came and we had a good time. We got the table tennis table out onto the grass in the flying ground. And what with a breeze and four of the five dogs helping and Indigo catching the ball frequently, it was an interesting but fun game to play and took my mind off things. Simon fixed up the PA to have his Ipod playing music, although I am not sure that music is the term I would use to describe some of the stuff he was playing, but we ended up with Elgar, so that was very good. It was a lovely evening.

As we were clearing up Eden phoned, Rush was quiet and settled and we arranged that I would go over at 8.45am and we would discuss things then. I was quite expecting to have to make the decision to have him put down. (that is such a weird expression when you think about it). I drove to Ledbury to be greeted by a grinning vet, who said come and see and there was Rush sitting with his head up, which he could not do before and at 5.00am Eden said he had gone in and Rush was standing and even went out for a short walk!! Eden thinks and it is a guestimate as only a PM or an MRI scan would tell that he has Steroid Responsive Meningitis. He is not out of the woods yet, nor is he home, but the prognosis is way better than it was 24 hours ago.
I have six dogs, well seven but Aster lives away from home now, and it was amazing how just one missing for our early morning walk left a huge hole. I had no Rush to carry my early morning tea mug.

It makes you really appreciate the living creatures that you love, so be aware, cherish them all, animal, bird, human or whatever because you never know how long you have them for. Here is hoping that we have Rush for his due years of life.
Thursday, 8 July 2010

Update on the Symonds Yat Peregrine

Mima, I released the peregrine this afternoon. She has been crammed full of quail the last few days - I gave her a 1/4 quail this morning too. She was released at Vicki’s parents farm near Malton (20mins from my house). I spoke to the local gamekeeper here and he wasn't too keen on having yet another falcon to contend with!! She took off and landed in a tree a 100yds off. She sat there for 10 minutes and then took off, she caught a thermal about 1/2 mile away and shot up to around 700ft. She then went into a shallow fast glide due east. She disappeared over Thorpe Basset hill in the direction of the Yorkshire Wolds. Good crow hunting territory for her! The old cow never gave me as much as a backward glance! I was left feeling somewhat heartbroken and she was having the time of her life!! No gratitude these falcons you know. I am going to go and sulk now!

And while Charlie was sulking, (rightly so, these injured wild birds never appreciate all the work you do for them!!!!!) our French party was very nice and all the birds behaved well and the whole thing went off very smoothly, thank goodness. I luckily had to do some filming with the BBC, and so had to hand everything over to Adam, Holly and Robin and a sterling job they did of it too. The filming went well, all birds behaved, the model aeroplane was particularly quiet!! And the gentleman from Air Bus research dept Norman, was very pleasant, so that is another job done and dusted, well and professionally.

I did Cremorne off demonstration as we needed to have a little extra training session and she was better, the flying is fine, but she behaves very badly on the fist on the way out of the flying ground. Karis did a stunning stoop, the one I have been waiting for for days, it was breathtaking. And generally all the birds did well today.
So I felt justified in biking up the road to see the nice horse I like. I took him for a walk and was just cycling back when Iloana came up the road and told me I had to get back as Rush was not well. So I speeded back, to meet Adam coming up the road with Rush in the van. We went back and he was very uncoordinated, his back legs were not working properly at all. He was fairly cheerful and his tail was wagging, but generally he was very wobbly. I was thinking Stroke, or some other neurological problem, and was remembering Arabis last year, with her brain tumours. So I phoned the dogs vet, Eden Tanner in Ledbury, and he said put him somewhere quiet and give him a couple of hours and then if I was worried, ring them.

By 8.00pm he was still no better, so I phoned and Robin and I took him over to Ledbury, he had slipped in the weighing room earlier and that was the only thing I could think of that might have caused whatever the problem was. Eden checked him over thoroughly and said he thought it was probably a back injury to a disc (how well I understand those!!) so gave him a shot of Carpruphen (?) and sent him home. I am still concerned as he is not right, but hopefully things will improve tomorrow. What with vultures and dogs and what have you, I am exhausted!! Here is hoping that things will improve tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Sometimes you get a phone call that you don’t want, which I got on Sunday night, a neighbour phoned to say he had found a dead bird and it had a ring on, and he thought it might be ours. Of course it was Papyrus my very lovely Savigny’s Eagle Owl. I had been expecting him to have not survived, but nevertheless it was not what I had hoped to hear. I drove over and collected him, he must have been alive until Saturday night and by the looks of his body, he had been doing OK, but something had killed him and I suspect that it was crows or ravens, it did not look like a raptor kill, nor a fox kill. Adam and I buried him in the field yesterday, close to one of the perches he liked to fly to. At least now I will not think that every phone call in the evening might be a sighting of him. I will miss him.

As I was walking round the field with the dogs first thing this morning I saw a heron take off from the pond, it appeared to have something in its beak and I wondered if it was one of the ducklings that an idiotic mallard mother has on the pond. It dropped whatever it had half way up the field, so I walked up there to find a fish! I did not know I still had fish in the pond. I think it was a Rudd, it had red fins, anyway I took it back to the pond and it disappeared, so I guess it was OK. It survived being caught and dropped, which is amazing really.

Otherwise things continue, we have a French party tomorrow and all 44 of them are having some handling and flying of birds, which should be interesting. We are also filming something for the BBC although I am not sure what at this point. We caught up the baby Harris Hawk today, it is hard down and ready to train and it’s a girl!! Hooray! She will take over from the two males that are now grounded for moulting, Pretender and Bay Middleton.

Cremorne is being a little difficult at the moment, I am not sure what is wrong but she has got more aggressive and temperamental and so I am spending time carrying her around and trying to get her less problematical, here is hoping that it will work!!

The brick cutter came yesterday, so the bricks will be ready for the plinth for the extremely golden eagle statue and that will start being built next week. We are excited that it will look better (which would not be difficult!) and then I have to work out how to tone it down a little so that it is fractionally less golden, which is a challenge I have to say.

I am sure that I had something to bitch about lined up, but it is late and I am damned if I can remember what it was!! Ah well, another time.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Message from Charlie, he phoned last night to say that the Symonds Yat peregrine had caught crow number 6 (I think) but it took him an hour to catch up with her, and she had eaten the lot and flew into a tree with a huge crop. I advised him to leave her and go back early in the morning. He got there at 5.15am (we falconers are used to early mornings!) and she had caught another crow!! That is two in twelve hours - this bird is steaming!!! She left it and he could not get near her so –:

Well my motorised winding up technique proved a success! She came down to the crow about 40 mins after I called you, I started the car engine whilst she was coming down. I let her start feeding then I dropped it into drive and drove round and started winding! She was way, way happier to have a Jeep driving round her than me walking round her. I managed a good half dozen wraps and then jumped out and grabbed her. As I was putting jesses, swivel and leash on I turned to see the Jeep rolling off down the hill. I had managed to only put it in Neutral rather than Park! Fortunately it didn't get far. I took the falcon to see the farmers wife who was chuffed to bits to see her. I think it may be time to let this lady have her freedom.

So isn’t that the best bit of news, she made it and will go back to the wild this week, good for her and for Charlie!

The flying demonstration for the Hawk and Owl Trust went rather well, although I say it myself. And we had a report of an owl when I returned, I suspect it was not Papyrus as it was about six miles away, but you can never tell, so unloaded the birds and went out again!! We did not find him, but spoke to various people who saw the owl and left information and phone numbers in case it comes back again.

We put the vulture out on the lawn today, he did very well and was sooooooo pleased to be out of his sling, we put him back in at 5.00pm, so he spends the night with the leg in the right place and about eight hours of freedom, and he is very good, does not move about too much and is eating well.

D’Arcy Spice’s flying abilities are coming on, he is not far off being able to get to the posts, which will be great when he can. Gypsy King is fully recovered and starting to fly to the fist, so Adam is pleased and he and D’Arcy Spice seem to be happy together!!!!

The baby Goshawk has also got ambitious and has learnt to fly up onto the fence, so he is going to have to be confined in a compartment until he is old enough to go on a proper perch. Holly’s baby owl Bramley is coming on as are Rival and Wayside, the two baby burrowing owls.

We had a very full Hawk Day today which went well and everyone behaved themselves – guests and birds alike! This week we have a French party of children who are all booked in for bird handling, that will be an interesting day and all staff are in for it!

I am hoping to get my Range Rover back this week too, I think I have forgotten how to drive it.
Friday, 2 July 2010
There was a stunning sunset this evening, although I have to admit to being too tired to get up and look at it! It was a lovely day regardless of the brainless weather girl on our local TV who said because there was a spattering of rain, and I mean a spattering, that there was an autumn feel to the morning. She has obviously never been outside, they really do annoy me with their trite and inaccurate comments.

The week has been a tough one, still no sign of Papyrus, which keeps uppermost in most of our minds. I have to suspect at this point that something has happened to him. Things always seem to happen in groups. The young vulture fledged this week and immediately Simon could see that all was not well, we thought he might have broken his leg on fledging and I wish he had as that would have been much easier to cope with. The leg at some point has rotated, and the ligament slipped off the ankle joint, so he could not use it properly. So another trip to Neil Forbes, who did a five hour surgery on him and hopefully the outcome will be good, however poor love can’t stand right now. So as I was very worried about him I pestered Neil yesterday and we decided to make a sling for him to get him off the ground. And so we did, I sacrificed one of the dog beds, and Adam sacrificed one of his climbing bit of equipment (of which he has a lot!). We decided that as we would have to keep a very weather eye on him, we would ‘hang him up’ as it were, in the closest compartment to the weighing room where there is the most going on and the most people moving around to watch him. It took five of us over an hour to do it, and he was stunningly well behaved all through. Of course he is also right in front of the visitors, so people are feeling very sorry for him. Damn it, I am feeling very sorry for him, but he seems settled. Someone sat with him until after 11.00pm last night, and then three of us got up at regular intervals through the night to check him. In fact it turned out that we had all missed one another by about half an hour, so tonight it will be shifts, mine is the 2.00am one! He is eating, he seems calm, he has a fan on in the heat and an umbrella for shade, lots of company and we will take him out every few days, and re do the sling. If anyone has any better ideas for supporting him – shout please. He has to have the iron work for three and a half weeks and then we hope he will be able to walk again.

The boiler man came and serviced all three boilers and warned me that I should start saving for a new boiler in the house damn it, I could have done without that. There goes the horse! Nettle and Sedge seem much better and the dogs stole the show again today with more bulrushes, and my lovely customers all sent me some super pictures, which I will put here. Cremorne (Bald Eagle) is flying really well, but bating a lot on the way back to the Hawk Walk so we need to spend some time with her, but it is too warm to do at the moment as she gets very over heated. D’Arcy Spice got caught by the wind yesterday and was about 15 feet up in the air, with a look of horror on his face!! But he managed a very professional landing.

I completely forgot it was Friday today and should have collected the Landrover that I am borrowing again, so I have to go and get it at 7.30am tomorrow as I am doing a flying demonstration for the Hawk and Owl Trust, so tomorrow is another busy day! Oh and an old friend of mine, sent me a lovely picture of some baby kestrels in a tree in his garden which he said I could share with you.


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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