Sunday, 19 September 2010
Usually the visitors at this time of the year are fun and interesting, the sensible ones wait until the end of the school holidays and then visit, knowing that it should be quieter, and for them more pleasant. However fun would not describe the visitors one day last week, some were good, but most would have been better suited to the towers of silence in Bombay, I nearly got annoyed and I certainly got very bored, having tried hard to get a reaction, so I went onto autopilot, which means I have no idea what I said, but it would have been factual, and boring – and well deserved!! Luckily we rarely get visitors who do not look interested, mostly they are great and fun to talk to and fly birds for.

I took five birds over to Great Western Referrals this week. The King Vulture and one of the young Spectacled Owls for sexing and both were female which is good. The female Turkey Vulture with an ear infection, which was looked at and was put under treatment, one of the baby Steppe Eagles who needed a stitch in both eye lids which was fine and he is recovering nicely, and the young Griffon Vulture to have all the ironwork out, and he did well and is back in his aviary and managed to hold down his first rat – clever boy. However the next day the Turkey Vulture was very poorly and cold, and by the looks of it in shock. We put her in an incubator, wrapped her up, but to no avail. So very sadly we are down to only the male, which is such a shame, but a learning experience. I am convinced as my two Black Vultures died after anesthesia in the US that both Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures are very susceptible to something, and it may well just be shock, after having an anesthetic. We will be very very aware of this in the future.

All in all bird wise it has not been a great week as I also lost my beautiful Barbary Falcon tiercel. It was windy and he had started to chase things and off he went during the demonstration. We tracked him, but the signal was not behaving normally, and so after three hours we went back to where we had got the only good signal. Eventually after work we all walked from the point of the best signal for about an hour and a bit and found to my sorrow, only the transmitter on the ground in a stubble field. I suspect he had stooped at something, maybe hit it and the transmitter had sprung off, it’s the first time it has happened in I don’t know how many years. I hope he does OK, he is certainly fit and fat and chasing, so perhaps he will. Or perhaps I will be lucky and someone will pick him up and return him, one can only hope.

Storm Force – Common Buzzard is back out and on duty, she is just the same as ever, and it is lovely to see her out again. All the owls are going well and in about 10 days we start off the last four ready for the owl evenings starting at Halloween. Dusky Emperor is starting to fly with a little more enthusiasm, and hopefully will be a good demonstration bird. Hard Tackle is now off duty and in the Eagle Barn moulting and grumbling to himself as usual!

We are now building two proper compost heaps that the horses and dogs can’t get at, it should make a difference, particularly as the dogs love to get on there when aviaries have been cleaned, and then happily throw up on the carpets later that day. Dante and Henry have settled and Dante is now picking his feet up properly, I will work to get on him when I get back from the US trip. And I also hope to have more time in the mornings so I can ride Henry more than once a week!!! Of course that will depend on wasp stings, lameness on my part and so on.

I still have washing to do to get ready to go; I am away in Fort Collins Colorado at the Raptor Research Foundation meeting, back on the 27th thank goodness. So I won’t miss the autumn which is one of my favourite seasons.



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.

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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