Tuesday, 18 June 2013
No Rant today, too bloody tired, 12 – 14 hour days are OK for the young, but I am worn out!! OK not that worn out, although I have to say I do wonder where I get my energy – because I have no idea!!!
So what has happened in the last whatever it is that I last wrote. Sorrel is NOT having pups which is a big blow and I am getting puppy withdrawal symptoms, I may have to go and buy one!!
The birds are well, the breeding season is nearly over thank God!! It has been a good one, and we are generally pleased with what we bred. There are always ups and downs, joyous successes and sad failures, but Holly has done brilliantly, and she should be very proud of herself, we are all proud of her. I should add that without the excellent support of the other staff,  John, Jimmi, Helen, Robin and Mark, she would be even more tired than she is, but the team have done well and I am very proud of all of them. Of course I should say that none of them can skin a rat with quite the aplomb as I can!!
I should tell you about Gluey though. One of the five Long Eared Owl eggs started life in the incubators with a large hole in it, made by its mother. Holly covered the hole with glue (hence the name) and we did not expect it to hatch. However despite our concerns, it did and we were delighted. But all did not go well, he quickly went downhill and so put him on antibiotics, he improved, but then dropped back again, so with the advice of Neil we changed the antibiotics. Things went better for a while and then he got ill again, we took him to Neil’s, and he was prescribed a different antibiotic, again things improved and again after time he went downhill. We had to take Delectable to have her back toe amputated, it had become fixed in the wrong position and was causing problems (that went well and she is recovering very very well!) so I took Gluey in again, he had a very high white cell count and was very anemic (actually when Neil took the blood you could see through it which horrified me more than Neil), so different antibiotics ( he is by now the most expensive damn Long-eared Owl in the world!!!) and I am very pleased to say that he is so much better, that both Holly and I are for the first time more positive that he will actually survive, which we were not before. In the interim period he pinched out all bar one flight feather and he has seven tail feathers instead of twelve so his flying is more like falling. But they are growing back and he is the most charming person you could wish to meet. He does need a name change, but I suspect that Gluey will, as Holly says, probably stick!

Taransay the baby Condor is doing well, although still reliant on chopped food, we have tried her with whole chicks and half a rat, but she just sucks them into oblivion!!
The gardens are looking good, I had to give up and ask Peter Dowle for help, they were just getting away from us, so I have two of his people coming in one day a week for the next ten weeks, by which time I hope we will get back on track.  I do need a full time garden though.

We did Spring watch in the Afternoon about three weeks ago, the midges over there were awful and I was bitten to hell but the birds were very good, and I then had to go over there again (why do Springwatch have to choose such damn out of the way places to film) with Greeves to do Springwatch Unsprung which went well I think, Greeves was very good.
A very good friend of mine Barbara Handley, who was Chairman, driving force and person extraordinaire on the Hawk and Owl Trust, died the week before last. I had known her since I was 20 and she was a good friend. She died of cancer and very quickly and I miss her as will the Hawk and Owl Trust.

We are just getting close to the stage of training some of the new birds, the baby Lanners are starting to fledge in the aviaries and will be taken away from parents soon to finish growing up mentally. The three baby kites have started their handling and training. We now have a baby Great Grey Owl from Chris Barnard – thanks Chris, he is lovely and settling well. Middle Mouse – Gluey’s younger sibling is doing demonstrations already and is very nice, although he did almost write off the till by crapping in it!!
That is about it, or at least as much as I can remember after two hours of weeding in front of the house and two glasses of wine!


sue hyde said...

so sorry to hear the news about barbara handley, she was an amazing lady.


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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