Tuesday, 3 May 2011

An interesting weekend/three bank holidays has been had by all at ICBP. Firstly the Friday, the Royal wedding, what a pleasure, only the Brits could pull off such a wonderful wedding and I have to say the BBC managed to cover it with taste and decency which I was very pleased about. Kate Middleton looked just wonderful and the couple were a joy to watch, the whole thing was a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of, and by that I mean, being British, and enjoying and being proud of our Royal family.

Our little HawkWalk (street!) party went well, there were not many people there, I think most were watching the wedding on TV, however we got busy in the afternoon after most of the initial coverage was over, but it was fun and we drank lots of white wine spritzers.

Saturday was a good day, Adam and I got ready with various birds for the two shows we were doing. I was doing two days at the Falconry Fair, and Adam was doing a demonstration at the North Somerset show, (which went brilliantly I am pleased to report) otherwise it was a quiet but very windy day, oh we did try the baby Griffon Vulture back with its parents, but no joy sadly, so Simon removed it. We also sent one baby Steppes Eagle up to Mark Kay to be reared by his Golden Eagle, which has gone well.

Sunday morning Linda, Holly and I left early for the Falconers Fair with nine birds, to do two demonstrations in the main ring and two demonstrations of coping at the Keizerbrink stand. It was hellish windy, I know everyone is going to prefer Ragley Hall which is the new setting, but actually I prefered Newport (shrops!). Ragley is high and often very windy, as I have flown there before. The first demonstration went well, Hare was absolutely brilliant, Bay Middleton (Harris Hawk) went on the soar over the house and then came back, I am not convinced that many people appreciated what he did. The Kestrel, Greeves was great and so was Karis. The two coping demonstrations went fine, but at the second flying demonstration Hard Tackle literally got blown away, he kept trying to come back, but was chased mercilessly by crows and jackdaws, so he gave up, all the other birds managed well, although the wind was even stronger. So we left the ring and Holly and I went to find Hard Tackle, we tracked him but he would not come down, every time he took off the wind grabbed him and he moved further away. Louise, Lucy and Paul (founder members) stayed around to help but by 7.30 when he finally was in a good place and could have easily come down, he ignored us, so we decided that the needs of the many outweighted the needs of the few and we took the rest of the birds home. The Landrover was behaving oddly and at one point lost power, so when I got home I phoned Richard, who I am glad to say is not dead!! He offered to bring over his Landrover and take mine, so I had a lost eagle, a sick Landrover and to cap it all one of the dogs had thrown up all over the kitchen, the only good thing about it was that which ever one it was had at least chosen a wooden floor and not a carpet! We weighed the birds and fed them and made a plan for Monday.

Linda and Holly stayed the night, and Anabelle joined us at 4.30am as we loaded up and left to get there early to find Hard Tackle. We unhitched the trailer and left Anabelle and Linda to watch the birds and get set up, and Holly and I chased the sodding eagle around the area until he pitched up in the woods on the estate and settled in. Holly stayed with him until 11.30 and then we went back to the show to get the demonstrations done, checking the telemetry every so often. He stayed put until just before the last demonstration and then started to move again, however we had to finish off first. Someone had spotted him in a village called Broom close to the show and driven over, he waited until we finished the demo, which went very well, in fact both did, and we followed him to the village. Hard Tackle then led us a dance all round the village and refused to come down again, even when I put Hare on a perch with food – which is normally a good method. So we drove the rest of the birds home, planning to unload and turn round and come back before dark, because I was sure he was close to getting ready to come down.

As we drove in the gate, a ton of staff and volunteers were waiting for us which was so nice and such a wonderful treat. The birds were unloaded, fed and tucked up, the trailer was cleared and cleaned, the stuff put away and the trailer unhitched and parked up, all in about 20 minutes flat. I really do have the most special staff and volunteers. John, Simon and Mark insisted that they would do the trip back which I have to say I was really relieved about as my left hip was very painful by this point. So all the rest came in for a cuppa while they left. Only ten minutes after they had gone, the phone went and the bloody eagle had come down to a falconer who had come on an experience day only days ago!!! It was such a relief, and really kind of them to help and phone, so the away team collected him and brought him home, the rest all went home, Richard and Janet came over and switched landrovers again and Linda fixed a problem with my computer. All was well with the world – well almost!!! Remember the dog throwing up episode, well I was wrong, it was not just the kitchen floor, as I went into the office we realised that it was also all over the sofa and had dripped in an interesting fashion onto the cream carpet below!!! Ah well, you can’t win them all.

My best Thanks to all the people at the show who cared about the missing eagle and offered help or asked if we had got him back and thanks to the villages who helped us and cared as well.



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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