Sunday, 8 September 2013

Well we are all exhausted, but the Falconry Weekend was a great success. The weather has been amazing for the last week, my staff and volunteers have been working so hard, we just could not have done it without all of them. They all are a stunning group of people. As I write Burgoyne’s has finally removed the last tents and left the field, Brinsea who still had their stand in the field has gone, the rubbish has gone, the PA system gone back, and only the electrics which have been neutralized has to be got in and we are back to normal. All the people doing the flying did brilliantly and the comments on Facebook are in their hundreds and all positive. It was as in the last two years, a wonderful atmosphere.


It has been a tough time though, after Rush died, our young Snowy Owl had to be taken into Great Western Exotics to see Neil, at the same time we had to take Alexandria, an 11 year old African Peregrine, and Pleiades my beautiful Indian Tawny Eagle whom we bred last year. The Snowy Owl, called Lindisfarne  turned out to have cerebral malaria, two weeks of intensive treatment, including one of the doses of antibiotics at 4 am one morning and we thought we were getting there, but he slipped back and even after a blood transfusion from his mum did not save him. Although young, we are going to bury him in the field. We lost the other two as well. Alexandria had an inoperable tumour and Pleiades had the same kidney problem that all the young seemed to have and was in great pain, so it was not fair to go on with her. They are buried together. Its so hard to lose these birds who are such a huge part of our lives.


All the other birds have been going on nicely. The four baby Yellow-billed Kites are all catching now and just all have to learn to eat on the wing and stay flying and they will be a stunning team.


Holly’s merlin Jura is going to be a good one, flying very well, the three young Lanners are now flying free, we have two young Luggers who are more of a challenge, but then Luggers always are. Mark’s Barbary is going really well and flying more and more strongly. Even Yeates, the five year old African Peregrine that I have been struggling with for months is now beginning to fly more strongly.


We had a big grounding of birds on Monday, the Falconry Weekend was over, the end of the school holidays was done and we need to concentrate on the young team, so four Lanners, two Harris Hawks, one Buzzard, two Eagles, three Kites and several Owls are now stuffing their faces and either in aviaries or about to go into one. Thus the young teams of birds take centre stage and improve more quickly as time goes on. We have kept the smallest young Steppe Eagle, I hope it will be a replacement for Pleiades, although I have my doubts, but you never know.


Indigo scared us all to death on Sunday, he was looking very old and ill and started to shake, so Holly and Ben bundled him into the van and took him to Ledbury to the vet. He stayed all day and was scanned, he had been eating far too much and his elderly tummy could not manage. He did worry us though and I was very upset as I could not bear to lose a second dog in such a short space of time, but he is much better now, and almost back to his usual self. Since Rush died he has slept on my bed and Holly has promised that he can sleep with her and Ben while I am away in India!


Muckle Roe, my beautiful Red Kite gave us a fright on Monday, she had one eye closed during the day, by the evening, her face was swollen on one side and tilted, she then threw up and so we decided to take her to GWE straight away, Tom was on duty and did an excellent job and we waited for her to recover from the anesthetic before I drove home and got back at 10.00 pm. I missed a good Chinese with Biff, so Holly and Ben had it!! Muckle Roe looked far worse the following morning, but at nearly 10.00pm 24 hours later she was looking more cheerful. She came running out of the sky kennel (bearing in mind we are rebuilding the hospital right now and so have birds littered everywhere!!!) ate some finely chopped food and then turned round and ambled all by herself back into her box!! Bless her! Today she is back on flying duty and did three excellent catches in mid air.


A new book about father written by Dick Fitzgerald was launched at the Falconry Weekend as was a reprint of a beautiful book by George Edward Lodge. I have a copy of each. And the Philip Glasier Falconry Museum concept was also launched.

It has been a busy time



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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