Monday, 4 October 2010
Its been a glorious day, just wonderful, autumn sunshine, vivid and warm, autumn colours on the trees and an autumn warmth to the air. I rode out on Henry after doing the dogs and checking round, it was a lovely ride and we only had one sticky patch and I growled at him, and he moved forward after that. He does not like large puddles though, but on the way back he wanted to get past them so I just let him have his head and he picked his way through! He is so thin skinned though, he has two grazes on him and I have no idea how he got them. Dante is fine and fat, too fat! He is going to have to start doing some work soon, but that is still to come.

We were given a lovely juvenile male Goshawk yesterday, he is going to be Simon’s bird, and is larger than my boy, and in far better feather condition, which would not be difficult at this point, and paler in colour, but I am happy with mine, he is coming on a treat now. We were also given a lovely lovely jack merlin, he is quite stunning in his adult plumage and I really want to find him a mate as he has bred before and I just love merlins, his name is leprechaun so you can guess where he came from originally.

Holly is off on a two day ARKS/ZIMS course tomorrow, this is the computer software system that zoos use, I have to say I have never been impressed with it, and I find it interesting that Zims, the new system has just come out after god knows how many years, and already they are working to ‘upgrade the system’, should it not be new and good if we are paying a bloody fortune for it I ask myself. I am not convinced I could not do better with a good excel file.

All the birds are relishing the sunny day after the rain yesterday, and all have flown well, Dusky Emperor did her first circling flight today, so that bodes well, we need a few windy days and I think she will get the idea. I am getting Hemp (Eurasian Eagle Owl) going again for the Owl Evenings and Eager (Long-eared Owl) who apparently is not in the slightest bit eager to start work again! Casper has finished moulting and so is going to come back into work for the winter, he is a perfect winter bird and if the weather men are right and we are going to get another winter like the last one, he will do well.

I think we are going to leave changing the flying times for one more week and start on the winter times next Monday, its been so nice it has seemed a shame to change the times at this point, however the light is starting to go earlier so it has to happen soon.

Peter Dowle’s team are starting in the garden tomorrow, I have given him a budget for new plants, not enough, but some, and they are going to move some around in the next week, while we can still see what is there. I love the garden and find it very exciting to do things in there that change it and improve it.

The compost heap walls are done and we are going to move the old compost/muck heap into one side on Thursday and then next week we are starting to clear the top pond and enlarge the bottom one, and then that will be it for work for Mike Turner, who has been here a year now!! Its all exciting stuff, oh and the play area is down, leveled and ready for grass seed and then we build the new one!
Delectable (Griffon Vulture) is coming on in leaps and bounds - literally! He comes straight out of his aviary now (and Sorrel immediatly gets in and eats all the left overs!) and bounces around the grass under the Turkey Oak, he flies to the benches with no problems now and nearly landed on Adam's fist yesterday. He is now going back in fairly readily, and is just a joy to work with, you can tell he is fun because all the staff have a grin on thier faces when he is out. What a pleasure to have him survive to work and well done Neil Forbes for fixing him and my staff for the enormous care they all gave him.



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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