Monday, 6 December 2010
I have the nicest smelling soap, it is Lily of the Valley, which is absolutely my favourite and one of my favourite flowers as well. In fact I want them at my funeral, so I had better die at the right time of the year, which is going to be tricky as I also want carols, hummmmm there is a dilemma!!

Beautiful and Bitter would describe today, it has been bitingly cold, mind and knee numbingly cold, with fog and a haw frost. The haw frost has been interesting, it is white spikes of frost on everything, grass, plants, trees, fences, the lot, and over the day the spikes have grown. At coffee time (10.00 am) there was about an eighth of an inch of everything and Holly and I took photos. By lunchtime, it was longer and now (it is dark) some of the white and frozen spikes of frost are nearly half an inch long.

Prototype number 2 is now in the Indoor Hawk Walk, and sure as hell today is a test as it was - 7 outside for most of today!! The hot spots have risen to 25 C, and the cooler spots, barely feelable heat, so Richard came over, he also very very kindly stopped off at Robin's in Ludlow to collect more fuel for the pellet burning heater in the Education Room, which was amazing of him as I was dreading the drive over there. He has put the heated perch, prototype 2 on a better power supply and we will see how it does over night. If it holds, we go into production. Everyone, staff and volunteers alike have been amazing in this cold, they have got the front of Barn 3 including the secretary birds covered with plastic and today the King Vulture and Turkey Vulture, who were looking miserable in the cold. The feed trays are in Barn 2, Barn 3, the small falcons and owls, both moulting aviaries, with more to come, I think we will get it done before Christmas, which is amazing considering what we are having to deal with in the weather.

Actually it is better to stay outside in this cold, I find that if I have to go in and do stuff inside, going out is tough and it takes about half an hour before your body temperature starts to cope with the cold. I have to thank Jon from LA zoo, he left his gloves behind - and they are great - not a chance of getting them back Jon!! Sorry about that! possession being 9/10ths of the law and all that! I have never had such warm hands before.

Henry is so good, he is missing Dante who is not back yet, the frozen ground is causing us problems, so I mucked him out this afternoon, he goes out in the morning, and I left the gate open for him. When I went down after dark to get him in, groom and re rug him and feed him, he was standing in the stable with the door wide open waiting for me, he is a love. Dante is well and I hope to go over and ride him soon, Sunday did not work out.

Mozart is in again, he does not love it, but I dread to think what the temperature is going to drop to tonight. The tethered birds seem OK and the falcons and juvenile Harris Hawks are in the heated room. I wonder how many people will have huge problems with their birds because they do not recognise the dangers of this extreme cold.

I was invited to a drinks party last night and amazingly I went, I tidied up, and changed and got in my land rover and drove round the lanes to my neighbours, it was a christening party. I managed half an hour and then as more and more people arrived, 90% of whom I did not know, I chickened out and quietly departed. The drive home, which was only minutes, was magical, partly because I will never stop appreciating being home again and partly because as I drove, very slowly and carefully, because it was treacherous, the lights of the landrover caught the frost and icy road and turned it into a ribbon of tiny diamonds glistening until the lights faded in the distance.

This December we creep forward on a weekly basis, getting jobs done and dealing with the weather, but we are getting there and its satisfying to see the changes regardless of what is thrown at us, although I have to say, I will not be sorry to see the back of this cold, it is hard on our birds, so imagine what it is like for wild birds.



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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