Sunday, 3 October 2010
I am not sure that I actually have a properly waterproof coat, on Friday I went through 3 coats, all hanging dripping in the kitchen after use, and today I am on my second. Mind you I think there is an excuse for the first one not working as I had left it over the stable door the night before last. When I went down first thing yesterday, both horses were in the stable yard, and had been for most of the night I suspect, looking at the amount of droppings spread liberally over the concrete, they had also sneakily managed to eat all the hay from their hay nets from the outside – clever, but not to be repeated as the hay nets have now been moved to the back of their stables, so that little game is fixed. However as well as eating all their hay, they must have (I suspect Henry on this one) picked up my coat, dragged it through most of the droppings and then trodden on it! The only way to get it better again was the washing machine, which means I may have removed the waterproofing, it was a barbour, but one of the newer ones (well less than 10 years old!) and very crackly when you worn it, I did not like it much, but it is much softer since the washing machine, just not waterproof!! The horses continued their day of playing up by breaking the fence down and getting into the flying field – again. So now the fence has more poles, which it should have had in the first place – my fault, and the overflow car park had it new gates so they went in there for the day yesterday and were delighted with all the grass.

We actually had to give up on the falcon day on Friday, the rain was so persistent, we got most of it done, but have asked the three people to come back for the last session on another day, it was getting to not be fun. Luckily yesterday was lovely and so the hawk day went fine. However this morning it is wet again, so I did not get out for a ride.

I have finally caught up on emails, and a little other work, I need to get some stuff for our website done and for the RRF website as well, and clear my desk, then it will be time to start some serious writing again, which I have not done for a long while now. That is planned for when Mark Parker starts as I hope to have more free time at that point. Plus I am putting a wood burning stove in my office soon, as I promised my sister I would and it will make it a great deal more pleasant to work in during the day, plus be a sensible and conserving way of using all the wood I have.

The birds are doing fine, Dusky Emperor is now flying free and is looking like being rather good, which is great. We had a very nice lady Dr Emily Shepard from Swansea University here this week trying out some data loggers on some of the birds. Adam’s Harris Hawk did a good job for us, as did Dusky Emperor and Pinotage, however Alexandria must have pulled off the connection to the battery as it did not log her performance, which was a shame, however hopefully we will try with some other birds at a later date.

My goshawk is coming on in leaps and bounds, he has no tail worth talking about because having arrived with three broken tail feathers some of the others have gone, but I want to get him fully trained and flying loose before fixing it. We showed him a dead rabbit yesterday, and that did not take long for him to decide it was fun to chase and catch. Even without a tail he is very agile in the air and can turn on a sixpence I am looking forward to getting him loose and out hunting. We have been working with Delectable, our baby Griffon Vulture, he now comes out of the aviary onto the grass by the Turkey Oak, has learned to fly onto the benches under there, gets very excited by the whole thing and yesterday we brought the visitors up after the last bird on the 2.00pm demonstration and they watched him do his stuff, it was his first official demonstration and he was brilliant, and goes back into his aviary for a rat!

Louise and Paul and Lucy – founder members visited yesterday and ended up helping in the café – again, we treat our founder members so well!! Still, as Louise said, if not here she would be doing the ironing! I am not sure I even have an iron…………..

So now its raining again but the trees need it and are pleased to have lots to drink, the birds are dry because our aviaries are completed rooved over and in weather like this I am always pleased that they are, the horses are in because they were looking miserable and Sedge is not impressed with the weather, he is most certainly a fair weather dog! Its time to get on with the newsletter which needs to be done to encourage people to come on the owl evenings which are fast approaching now it is October!

Footnote; most of the photos I use are Linda Wrights, however some as you will see are by others, usually wonderful visitors who become friends, if I ever do not credit the right person, please forgive me and let me know and I will correct it. Just a few photos are mine, but usually not the birds as it is impossible to photograph them and fly them at the same time!



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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