Sunday, 28 October 2012
Well I am back home again, and wonderful it is too. The trip back was a little fraught as there was fog at Heathrow so I was late back, but it was good to get home. Robin collected me. I was home for about three days and then went to London yesterday to see War Horse the play. Miranda Richardson took me, it was the 5th anniversary and we met the author who was absolutely charming. The play was quite wonderful, and the party afterwards was fun, although I know there were a ton of famous people there and I did not recognise anyone!! I felt like a very country person, but that is fine. It was bitterly cold yesterday, but beautifully clear and sunny, having had days of grey misty tepid weather it changed on Friday, and we have finally been busy, but chilly. I have ridden Art who has recovered from his lameness and was very good today, I have almost caught up with things, I have two meetings in London next week and then off to Nepal again. We did our first owl evening last night, Richard has put some lovely lighting in the Indoor Hawk Walk, so instead of using the iZone for the first part of the flying we moved to there and with low level lighting and a much kinder room in terms of space, it worked really well and all the owls, both inside and out did brilliantly.
I think I was homesick in Spain!! How about that for being stupid, I should add that when writing this bit I was not at home, but abroad again, however the more I leave home for various trips, and I was on my third one in less than a month right now, with another one to come, the more I realise how much I love my home and don’t really enjoy leaving it. Of course I am lucky enough have a lovely (if cold!) house, full of things that I have collected together over a lifetime, and I have six (at the moment) wonderful dogs who keep me sane and give me pretty much all the company I could need – bearing in mind that I see people on a daily basis all bar about either days of the year over Christmas. I also have an amazing staff who are almost family, and not forgetting the birds who form the core of all our lives at the Centre.
To be fair, I went to Spain with a seriously nasty cough and cold and managed to get sicker while I was there. (Still have the damn cough now) I don’t think I was the best of company, which made me feel guilty, and the group picture taken at the end of the workshop shows me looking remarkably pale I suspect, having just thrown up for the third time!  Annoyingly too, I guess through being not well and over tired, I took my camera and left the damn card in my desk top computer at home, so I got no photos, and I left behind a couple of bits of paper that I needed, and did not check my external hard drive for all the photos either, none of which is like me, I am usually pretty anal about getting ready. Mind you, if I have to catch that damn 4.00am bus  to Heathrow again this year I will be decidedly pissed off about it. I don’t think I have been as tired as I was when we finally got to Baeza, which was at about 9.00pm, so from 3.00am to then and not feeling well made for a very very long day. I am also too old and set in my ways to eat a meal at 9.30pm!!  That is only half an hour before my bedtime normally!!! And that is what I did instead of going out for supper!
The workshop was interesting and it was very good to see some of the papers of release programmes from around Europe. It was good to see old friends again as well, and at the end of the workshop, Miguel took Ian Newton, Phil Whitfield and me to Donana National Park, which is amazing. It does not get dark over there until about 8.00pm which meant we had time to drive around a good area of the park in a Landrover. (my favourite car!) As we drove out we saw a pale phased Booted Eagle soaring above us, then we saw a Black Shouldered Kite, they really are just beautiful birds, I could not believe that we saw flamingos! Red Kites were pretty numerous as well, although sadly Miguel did not manage to find the breeding pair of Imperial Eagles, but did show us a beautiful and ancient Cork Oak tree where they had nested in the past. 

I think too that I have never been adventurous about different types of food either, probably a cause of my upbringing and the fact that as a child, I am not sure there was anything much in the way of choice or different types of food. Mother much as we all loved her was not an adventurous cook (nor should I add am I! In fact cooking was a chore for mother and as I don’t have to look after any other human than myself I at least don’t have that problem!). Her idea of vegetarian food was a baked potato and frozen peas, God help any vegetarian that stayed more than one meal! These days vegetarians can get the most amazing things at restaurants, although I would warn that coming to me for a meal is a problem regardless of your eating preferences! Anyway the point of this digression is that going abroad means eating food that you are not used to, and some of my friends love it and will try anything and I am very seriously boring and really do not enjoy much of it! Which as my various friends tell me is silly because I am missing a great deal, but just happens to be the way I am. I do wonder if I would like food in China as I do enjoy Chinese food in the UK, but I suspect not as Indian food in the parts of India I go to is nothing like Indian food in the UK.
However I am now getting back to normal and looking forward to what is left of the autumn and all the staff being back in work again!



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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