Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Back from India safe and sound, it is good to go, and even better to come home again.

The trip was good, it was an early start on the Saturday that I left, I caught the 5.44am train. As I rode the train to London, I looked up and the sky was a glorious colour, oranges, greys, light blue and creams, the trees were not quite the deep black of a nighttime silhouette, but instead a dark indeterminate grey and the mist hung just below them in the fields, I wished I was not going, and my feet were cold because I was wearing sandals – ah well, the joys of travelling. It did not last long, the sunrise was done, the mist rose and grey predominated the view, hedges and trees loomed out briefly, and the mist made it hard to focus on anything as we sped past. I got to the airport via Paddington and then the shuttle to terminal, I then went to ask where I should go for passport checking and realised that I think I left my printed out boarding pass on my printer at home, but the lady I asked was very nice and instead of sending me to a queue, just booked me and handed my boarding pass to me, it could not have been easier. I met up with Thalita who is the Brazilian Vet going out to India and Nepal for six months to help with training and off we went.

We arrived in India at 1.30am, and then after a short night of two hours in a hotel, we met up with Chris, Janki and Vibhu and we all trained it to Pinjore. We went out to the Centre, the vultures are just starting to breed, so we did not look too closely at the colony aviaries but did see the new breeding aviaries, which are now filled with birds. We spent the next couple of days discussing the progress, planning for the coming breeding season, having a look at incubators and probably getting in the way of the staff who were getting ready for an influx of people from all over the world at the SAVE meeting. The meetings went well, three days of them! I was definitely meetinged out by the end of it. Ian Newton and I travelled back together and it went well, although catching a plane at 3.30am is not fun really, however it did mean that Adam Bloch who met me at Heathrow and drove me home, (thanks Adam) got me home in time for coffee – and a heavenly shower – and a bacon sandwich!

Although if I have a complaint it would be to the designers of Terminal Five – the shuttle train to get you from the plane to arrivals is very poor, we had to wait until the third train before we could get on and there was no option to walk, which I like to do after a long flight – very badly done I thought, particularly for a new terminal.

It is lovely to be home, it has been a little grey and overcast, but its still good to be back. Adam is in Guatemala doing his cycling bit and we are all hoping that he is having a good time. The wedding with Katana went Very Well, Holly and Sally went to do it and came back very happy that it had all gone according to plan (so was I, I have to say!).

Linda and Mark did a photographic job while I was away, that worked and the client got some stunning photos. Robin and Michele have just done SIX lectures to a school in Tewksbury in one day!! They came back pleased, relieved and tired. Anabelle has gone off home to Mauritius and will be back before Christmas. Simon is still delighted with his motorbike, but it is no longer here! Because we are redoing the freezer shed, prior to the new walk in Freezer arriving, he was worried about it, so it lives in a smart garage off site all by its little self! Although he and Adam blew it on their sojourns away. Simon left a lure in the rucksack that we use looking for lost birds, that took us several days to find the smell after he had gone to India and I found a lure and three pickup pieces in Adam’s bag yesterday!!! I on the other hand cleaned out my bag before I left!

The electrics in the Hawk Walk is coming on, I think it is just a question of joining up all the various bits of cable now. The heaters are in, the switches are in, the line has been tested, the steel armoured cable is in, just boxes and then the big switch on (and pray! Opps, sorry Richard!) and the birds will be snug and warm.



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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