Thursday, 28 June 2012
Well we had a wonderful time in Yorkshire last week, I got tons of photos, which would be really useful if my computer would actually read the card with them on, however at the moment it is on strike about pretty much everything. In fact yesterday my download speed on Business Broadband was .3 of a megabite!!! Well done BT, I suspect I may be changing my provider unless they can improve it. Someone is coming tomorrow and I hope he can get a better result. I guess that is the problem of living in a rural area.

Charlie has done really well at Duncombe, all five aviary blocks that are being built this year are up, some further along than others, but all looking very good. The iZone is up and Anabelle’s housing on site is at ‘first fixings’ (that means the electrics and water have to go in before plaster boarding and then decorating. It is going to be a very nice little ‘house’ and one that Anabelle will quickly make her own.

The Hawk Walk is very different from ours (once I can have another big fight with my computer, or rather probably Adam will) I will show you in pictures!! (beat it!) But is well on in the building phase. We spent the morning driving up, the afternoon up there and the evening eating an excellent meal of Pork Loin with cream and peppercorn sauce and rice – uuummmmmm!

We got there in 3.5 hours and back as well, although I did feel very sorry for the poor buggers on the northbound M42 – they were in a huge and I mean huge tailback that went on for miles – and was it a blocked lane – oh no!! There was a problem with some cars on the hard shoulder and all the rest of the hold- up was complete morons slowing down to look, I have to say I think that is one of the most disgusting aspects of humans, why do they do it and why make life miserable for thousands of others that you hold up while you are gawping at something which is NOTHING to do with you!! The cost to all the people in the queue in terms of fuel, time and frustration is huge and all because you idiots who do it cause the holdup. You are in my opinion despicable!!

The dogs were pleased to see us when we got home and then Anabelle and I had supper, and that we think is where the next problem started. Both she and I spent all night with throwing up and diarrhea!! Lovely, I still don’t feel great and Anabelle finally gave up and drove home, it turned out to be a bug that John gave us – thanks John, because Angela got it and so did Sue.

We had a good weekend although it appears that the audience is great one day and dead the next at the moment, its surprisingly difficult to work with an audience that is giving nothing back, and just wonderful when they respond and are lovely!! Although it has been very humid the last few days so perhaps that accounts for it.

Art has new shoes on so hopefully we will get out again if the rain allows, we had an absolute downpour today, the paths suffered a little, but are nearly back, my courtyard flooded, which was particularly annoying as I had spent two hours last night giving it a spruce up. And the water was pouring down the back steps in a serious torrent, however it only lasted about half an hour, I would love to know how much rain we had!!

The female Tawny Eagle is now jumping A frame to A Frame which is great. All the baby owls are coming on a treat. Holly’s Tawny Owl Orion is cracking in the wood, although the small birds get annoyed when they see him. Michele’s Ashy Faced Barn Owl is charming – Lyra – and very beautiful. And I have a Lesser Kestrel chick in a box at my feet, who I hope is going to be wonderful, I love Lesser Kestrels, they are so pretty.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Rain and more rain, I have to admit to being a little tired of it. My pond is very full and I suspect that the hosepipe ban  may not be that necessary anymore. I hope you all like the new website, I know the orange is very orange, but it is so that more people, particularly those with children realise what a great place it is. And the other two parts are less bright!! I am starting on the history page, it is going to take a while, but should be fun when it is done.
Linda has put up a lovely video of the baby Aplomado feeding, just press the YouTube button on the new website and you will find it. She is coming with us tomorrow to film the demonstration at Milland Village Fair, which is a highly organised and wonderful old fashioned village affair that we went to two years ago. Watch this space!!
Art managed to lose a shoe again and so has not been ridden for several days and then when it was replaced I managed to get out once before either time or rain stopped play. I have to go to Yorkshire on Tuesday to see Charlie and Vicky and see how things are going at ICBP Duncombe, back on Wednesday and then I have to go to London the following week. Hope the car survives all the trips!!
The new Tawny Eagle is just wonderful, very quiet and laid back (so far!) Simon made a hood for her, it is a little too small so he is going for another attempt, but she was good as gold at being hooded. I really do want to have her good to it. It makes things so much easier if you can hood them, I never leave a hood on for long, but just occasionally it is really useful. Gazelle is chasing small birds very seriously now, he has nearly caught several illegal things recently, I keep telling him he should not do it, but he is having fun trying.
I went up to Paradise Wildlife Park north of the M25 yesterday for the BIAZA Conference and gave a talk about bird of prey demonstrations. It was a good conference, although I left a day and a half early!! Great food and nice to see everyone again. Not sure I want to drive back on a Friday again though, the traffic round Oxford was not fun, but it was wonderful to see all the Red Kites along the M40.
Other than that, not much news at the moment, hopefully the sun will make an appearance soon, that would be very nice.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012
OK, OK I know I have not been doing the weblog, but that is because I have been working very hard, (although not as hard as Adam Bloch) on building the new Website. We are writing it in Joomla, which means that we can work on it from here without having to know that completely incomprehensible language called HTML. We can add articles and pictures, we can change the menus, we can put in modules (well I hope to be able to do so soon), it’s pretty cool. This should mean that poor old Linda will not have to be tied to her computer morning noon and night and will instead be able to get back to taking photos. In fact she is going to be in charge not only of getting new photos for us – I need a photo of a casting Linda and one being taken apart!!! – but she is going to start to work on some short videos for us to put on the new website.
Leaf is much better, still lame and stiff when she has been lying down, but more cheerful and moving better once she has unstiffened. We don’t think that Sorrel is pregnant, just fat!!! They all need to go on a diet badly except for the puppies. The others are fine, and the furminator has been getting hanks of fur out of Indigo.
My baby Tawny Eagle has had to come out of the aviary with the Steppe eagle because it looks like the Grey Buzzard Eagles have laid again and as their two babies are full grown and fledged, we had to move them out. My Tawny Eagle is BEAUTIFUL!!! She is a pale ginger colour like Hare, but a little bigger, and the first thing I am going to do is make her to the hood, so I can hood her easily in the future. The two baby Grey Buzzard Eagles are stunning too, they are both the same sex, but we are not sure which one!!
Art is going well, Jules schooled him today and he was brilliant, although he was rather less brilliant getting up to the school, there was a particularly dangerous looking piece of black plastic on the road and in the end I had to get off and lead him past. Needless to say that on the way back he looked at it, but took little notice of it at all.
The bank holiday has been two good days and two crap days, the rain did not let us down, and both the Saturday and the Tuesday it rained, and is still raining. However we had lovely visitors on all the days, and most were getting to the point where they just say sod the rain and come out anyway!!
Keep an eye out for the new website, it is different, it is more aimed at families, but I think it works and the orange part is for visitors, the rest is a bit more restful and there are some lovely videos on there – with more to come from Linda at least if the weather ever cheers up. You can let me know if bits don't work there will I am sure be teething problems, not everyone will like it, but the important thing will be if it does the trick. 


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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