Saturday, 27 April 2013
I know I know, it’s a while since I wrote, but it has been busy and I have had a lot to do!!! Finally that awful bitter wind has gone. It has done some damage to the plants around the Centre with wind burn, but amazingly the daffodils have survived it. I think a couple of shrubs in the field hedge may have to be pruned right back, but they might survive. We did – just about! We have had a respite for about ten days week now, I have to say we were very relieved, particularly as I did a demonstration for the Cotswold Hunt Point to Point and Country Fair and it is high up on the Cotswolds and if it had been as windy as it has been I think the birds would have got home before I did. Luckily the weather was great, a little chilly, but fair and the birds were brilliant. Zaurak (Lanner Falcon) did his first away demonstration and was faultless, Theft was good, Hare was excellent, as was Karis and I was particularly pleased with Bay Middleton because he can be tricky away from home. I also took Pleiades, whom I did not fly, but she travelled well and came out of the boxes very well. She has not been flying as well as she was in the cold wind, but we are working on it.
The breeding goes on apace. We now have two baby lanners, one of the white-faced scops owls went up the Charlie, the other was not well for a while, but has recovered and is doing much better. The Asian Brown Wood Owl hatched, although we did lose the second egg. The first Steppe is out and doing very well, the Savigny’s from the second clutch has gone back with mum and dad and they are pleased to have it. The baby Bald Eagle is doing wonderfully well with the Verreaux’s Eagles, the baby Tawny Eagle is back with the Steppes. We tried him back with the Grey Buzzard Eagles but they would not take him, they were still in incubation mode, although they are in disgrace because they broke two of their eggs, which was very disappointing. However the other pair have now finally laid, it will be interesting to see if they are fertile.
As I write the second Steppe Eagle is starting to hatch and so is the Condor, which is very exciting, both Holly and I will be very relieved when it is out safely.
I went plant shopping and bought a ton of plants with my birthday and Christmas vouchers, and have just spent the last two hours tidying up my courtyard, and the last few days weeding and planting, I still have a few to go and I hope the bloody rabbits don’t eat them. Oh and two days ago there was a Roe Deer buck in the field, that was a sight to see, and I heard my first cuckoo yesterday, it only cuckooed 1.5 times but it was there.
I was sent a link to a Wildlife programme made in Wales a couple of days ago, it features a Dr Rhys Jones, who works at Cardiff University. He is a herpetologist supposedly, but does this programme that rescues wildlife, or in the case of the Kestrel in the film, fails to rescue wildlife. All of us were incensed watching it, Firstly it was obviously desperately thin and he should immediately have taken it to an expert as he is most definitely not one on birds of prey, it should have been put in the warm and on fluids, through the night and it might have had a chance of pulling through. As it was he did none of that, at least not on the TV, instead he fed it mealworms, which it could hardly manage. He also did a bit on a snake in a shed, it turned out to be a gravid Grass Snake, so what does he do for the camera, but handle it until he upsets it enough that it goes into defence mode and squirts out a smelly fluid which they do if upset, and then it pretended to play dead. These people who deliberately upset wildlife just to look good on camera really piss me off. Dr Jones you need to come here and learn what to do with sick or injured birds of prey before you touch another one. I would be happy to teach you.
On our side all the injured wild birds that we had had in and that had been in a fit state to survive have done so and all have been released back the wild by the various people who brought them in. We did not upset them, wave them in front of camera’s we just did our job properly.
Linda and I went shopping at some mall near Bristol, the name escapes me, its really frustrating when you want jersey's and all the womens clothes are for summer and not a jersey to be seen, or at least not one I would be seen dead in. Even though it was bloody freezing outside, so I ended up buying three men's jerseys, which are cheaper as well! I also bought for the first time in 15 years new knickers!!! I bought 15 pairs to celebrate.
However the nicest sight we have seen recently is Hemp with a baby. Holly and I decided that as she had been so good with all the eggs we needed her to sit for us, we would try her with a chick, so she has a baby Spectacled Owl, and does she love it - oh yes, she thinks it is wonderful, it is a sight to behold.



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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