Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Well, that is the last   my travels abroad for this year, and I have to say I am not sorry!! Ever since I got back to Newent, and understood finally what it was I had nearly lost, I am much happier at home than travelling.  I guess that makes me a sedentary bird, rather than a migratory bird!

The trip was good, although started off a little poorly, my train from Ledbury to Paddington was an hour and a half late, so my plans to meet Ian Newton and Rhys Green at the check in were scuppered. I have to say that BA did not get good points for their helpfulness at check in, so as well as being stressed because I was late, I was annoyed before even getting on the plane. However things improved then because as I had to check in alone, and so because they were over booked and I was travelling alone – I got upgraded!!

On arrival at Delhi  we got on a bus to the domestic terminal and eventually caught the plane to Bagdogra in West Bengal. Most of the trip from Bagdogra to Alipurduar was done in the dark, but it was on much better roads than we travelled last time I went there. The hotel was OK, there were 88 steps from my room to the meeting room which sadly was in the basement . As I am not keen on Indian food, that part of the trip I did not particularly enjoy. The meeting was good and we had good representation from several new countries that were within the vultures range. There were good papers and plenty of good discussion.   All in all I think the SAVE Meeting went well and we seemed to achieve a good amount of work and decisions.

On the first day there we went bird watching, sadly for me we saw mainly LBJ’s which pleased all the rest of the twitchers!!!! But I wanted to see more raptors – they were hiding!! We did however walk across a river bed with a little water (that was fun) and crossed into Butan for about two minutes – which we did because we could!! We went into the forest but did not see a great deal apart from some lovely trees, but some of us did manage to pick up leaches, I had one on each foot, and Toby was bleeding dramatically from his leg. Of course we had to make up for lost blood later on, Toby and Chris replaced it with beer and I worked on Gin and sweet lime soda (no tonic). I have to say that the gin left a great deal to be desired, but if you drowned it it was bearable.

The meeting was held in the basement of the hotel and after three days it got extremely depressing as by the time we had finished each afternoon, it was already dark. So we rarely even saw the daylight, let alone anything else. We did have one short trip to the Centre and on the way back one of the other cars saw an elephant, and some pied falconets, did I – NO!

The trip back was extremely long, we left the hotel at 7.00am, with a short stop for a cup of tea we got to Bagdogra by about 12.00 noon, our plane to Delhi left at 2.30pm and the flight back to London did not leave until 3.40am! The flight was uneventful apart from the fact that there were four squalling children in our compartment, roll on child free planes. However when we got to Heathrow things started to fall apart, it took ages to get off the damn plane because some idiot decided that it was nice to let his small child walk rather than carrying the damn thing. There was a huge queue at the immigration and then I got to the Heathrow Express with just enough time to get the 7.58 train, which would have got me to Paddington just in time, but it was cancelled, the next one finally left at 8.20 and my train at Paddington happily left at 8.22 without me. I bought a new ticket (the bill for which I intend to send to the Heathrow Express) and got on the next train to Gloucester, which was then delayed because the doors would not  lock. So until my trip back from Argentina which was great and seamless was not replicated on this one!!   It appears that all of us on that trip had the same problems and we all missed our trains!!

It is lovely lovely to be home, its quiet (Alipurduara was incredibly noisy at night) my bed is blissfully comfortable (the one in India was rock hard, which they all are), the gin is great and the dogs were really pleased to see me home again. The Hospital is nearly done, the new smart hospital boxes arrived today and very smart they are too, I can’t wait to get the whole thing finished!! It will make a huge difference to us all and the injured wild birds that come in.

Our new lawn mower is coming next week, I chickened out of collecting it and so have got it delivered, it is coming from Carters of Swanwick who I have to say have been wonderful so far in all they have done. I am looking forward to trying it out!!

My Hobby is flying really well, I am very excited about her, particularly as it has not been great weather, she is called Killigrey. I want to be able to get her flying strongly in case we do get very cold weather when I will have to stop flying and feed her up. But so far the  possible forecast worse winter for 100 years has not appeared, although admittedly it is early days.



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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