Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A very good friend gave me an iPad for Christmas, for which I am extremely grateful, but which also means, much to the joy of the staff who have to deal with my emails when I am away, that I can do them wherever I am in the world – oh great!!!

Cowan Red is back out on duty for the start of the year

However to be able to access them I have had to change from Windows Live, which replaced Outlook Express, and was no-where near as good I have to say, to Outlook. I had to get Outlook 2013 – DON’T but it whatever you do!!!! It is crap, and that is putting it very mildly indeed. Apparently I can’t put emails into my calendar without sending the bloody things to myself as well, I can’t send a group email without far more clicks of the mouse. I can’t stop all email addresses that arrive to me going automatically into my address book, I can’t add a signature to emails that have been forwarded and there are a whole ton of other things that I can’t do which I could with Outlook Express and Windows Live - I hate it!!!


I guess the two things that really annoy me is that software writers don’t seem to understand that some things do not need changing and that in fact the upgrades, changes and general overhauls of a programme almost always are a problem rather than an improvement to the users.


Mark's Merlin is ready to show off
The other things that really pisses me off is that they have glitches and often don’t work. If I bought a drill, or an iron or a car that had glitches and did not work I would be able to throw it back at the maker with strong words about it. Can you do that with software, apparently not. I would like to return Outlook 2013 and get 2010 which I am told is better. Mr Microsoft, please talk to your software writers and tell them that they should not improve a programme without asking the people who use it if they really want to have it improved!!! And if they do improve it they need to put it out to people like me, who can then tell them what is not good about it!! Get it sorted please!


Well the rain continues, the ground is saturated, but we are at least much luckier than those poor people living close to rivers. I always thought it would be wonderful, like Ratty, to live on the river, but now I am glad I live three hundred feet up. However the snowdrops are still coming up, the daffodils are showing green and its very weird to hear spring bird song this early, but we have been hearing it since Christmas.


The Verreaux's nest and egg
We now have camera’s on the nests in the Eagle Barn, and Adam has put them on Ustream, so you can see what is happening. The Verreaux’s laid two days ago and the Vultures are now sitting on a wooden egg and Holly has taken their egg for hatching. We will return the chick at about two weeks old as they failed to rear last year.


Jimmi is starting to train the Black Changeable Hawk Eagle as we are unlikely to ever get a mate for her and so we thought we would see how she did flying. Benbecula, the new male Stellers Sea Eagle is flying wonderfully, as is Rathlin, John’s Steppe Eagle. He is also training a Striated Caracara kindly given to us by ZSL, called Hibre, he is wonderful and very smart. The falcons are starting to fly well, all the owls are coming back on line after their Christmas break, and we are ready to open.


Its odd that come the end of November we are really looking forward to being closed and not having to work our day round flying demonstrations, but by about mid January we are all looking forward to being open again!


A touch of spring to get us there!
I am very much looking forward to the spring this year because with Rob joining us as gardener he has already made a huge difference to how the gardens are looking and the spring will really show the difference.


With the new Hospital making a big difference to our lives, the gardens coming on, a great team of staff, the workshop being moved, the cars under cover, and the place looking good, all it has to do is stop raining and we will have a great year ahead of us.





reece bolger said...

This is a little off-topic to your latest update but I was wondering if you have any tips on beginning falconry?
I have been reading every book there is to read on the sport(including Falconry-Care, Captive breeding and Conversation) and I have had a number of 'hands-on' lessons with a nearby falconer were we flew harris's and did some hunting and training methods(we also cover smaller things like: falconers knot, making furniture and and how to hood a bird, to list a few) but I would love it if you have any pointers and ideas before I get my first bird this year.
Thank you.

reece bolger said...

Also, is there a live feed camera of the Verreaux’s egg? I'm really interested in what happens at the center and a live feed would be great but if it has hatched already, please post a few pictures!
Thanks 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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