Friday, 18 May 2012
OK, OK, I know I have not done the weblog for a while, but organising a Royal Event at the Centre is hard work!! Trust me I know I have done several now. And I have not got on with the new website over the last week either, but now all but the tent remains of our ‘do’, life gets a little bit back to normal.

We have all worked really hard over the last fortnight, a lot of stuff that we could have got ready earlier was held up by the rain and awful weather, but with the help of staff and volunteers the gardens look superb, the paths are all cleared, the aviaries all clean and tidy and the birds look really well. Four friends came over from South Carolina to help and be involved, they were a tower of strength and got a ton of stuff done. The sun came out after they arrived and the weather held up for the day.

It was needless to say a lovely day the day before The Princess Royal came and a lovely day after the event!!! However although there was a chilly wind coming up the field, the sun came out for most of the time and the wind made for superb flying from the birds chosen for the day. I started with Hare,(Indian Tawny Eagle) who was very good and did not let me down once, Mark flew Jack Daniel’s (Saker) and he was delighted with how he flew, Robin flew Pinotage( Egyptian Vulture) who flew brilliantly, but was a little tricky to get back into her aviary – however Robin was very subtle and few noticed that bit because Adam was ready with SideWinder who pulled out all the stops and we are so glad we chose a Burrowing Owl because the Princess does enjoy them. I few Bay Middleton (Harris Hawk), we had planned to fly two together but the previous day Pretender decided he would rather hunt, and so he was sacked for the day! Bay Middleton is probably the best Harris I have flown in terms of soaring and generally being very good and he did not let me down. We ended up with Adam Holly and John flying three of the Yellow-billed Kites, Deception, Bush Master and Buttermilk Racer, who all did very well in the wind.

The Princess had had a short tour of the Centre and then watched the flying demonstration, she then kindly met up with five different groups of people including the Life members; neighbours; the americans; our volunteers plus potential Trustee members, she then came into the tent and I did the formal introduction and she gave a lovely speech, which I will put a link to here, I have heard The Princess Royal speak before and she is just first class at it. She chatted to a few people and Carl Newman presented her with a beautiful bronze of a Barbary Falcon, that we had done specially for the event, it is one of an edition of only nine. The Princess has one, we have one, and one has already been sold, so if you are interested, there are only six left! Angela had done some amazing finger food over the previous weeks and she and Tracy and Jo, with help from various volunteers including Linda Wright got it all ready early that morning. I had made mulled wine, which turned out to be a good idea in the cold wind and most of it went!

The whole day went brilliantly, most of the guests arrived, a few did not come, probably put off by the weather, but guys – you never know what it will be like here!! And you missed a great day! They all enjoyed themselves and had plenty to eat and drink. Richard had sorted out the electrics in the tent so we had lights which helped, and Adam had sorted out an Art Exhibition in the Tent which looked better with lights, and was much appreciated by the guests, and a couple of paintings sold. Some will be on view in the Pavillion for the next month or so and then again at the Falconry Weekend in September. Mark auctioned off a painting of Greeves hovering in a sunset that Adam had done and it went very well.

We are all still a little tired and Holly has gone on holiday to Mull for a week (!!) but things are moving forward, the education room is looking good with more to come – ooooooooooooooppppppps sorry the IZONE, but finances meant that we could not finish it quite yet. Next comes the Garden Picnic to celebrate the actual opening weekend 45 years ago, I have the wine, you just have to come and bring the picnic, and pray the weather is good on May 26/27th. Then we have some pretty good kids events organised for the Jubilee weekend, so that is a good one to be here for as well.

I have an Ashy Faced Barn Owl chick that we are going to train and Holly is starting on a Tawny Owl as soon as she is back, John’s Burrowing Owl is charming and Adam has another Asian Brown Wood Owl. We await all the diurnal young for later in the year! Come and visit! Up date - tent going now too!


Ukfalc said...

Great Write up. It sounds like you guys had a great day. Roll on this weekend...


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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