Sunday, 5 January 2014

Well Christmas is over, the New Year is over, which as usual I saw in in bed fast asleep! I think the last time I saw in the New Year was the millennium with a good friend of mine Arthur Middleton and I am still kicking myself that we did not think to go up May Hill, it would have been tremendous, never mind – next time!
A ford near us!
Christmas Day and Boxing Day were lovely, sunny and dry, and I think that one other day was good too, otherwise it rained, and rained, and New Year’s day was I think the wettest day I can remember for a long time. I went through three sets of clothing and was so cold and wet after feeding round that I had to stop and get warm again before going out to finish the cleaning up and bail water from in front of the weighing room, that gave me the second set of wet clothes and taking the dogs out for a walk did the final set – though to the skin all three times!
It’s raining now, we had a respite on Thursday, it was good to see the staff back in, although Mark is not well. The hawk walk birds all had a day out on the lawn, a good bath and a good clean, before having to go back under their compartments again as the weather got worse.
We have five pair of birds on eggs, but three are probably not going to have hatched eggs, they have been somewhat sketchy in their incubation, however those pairs will probably relay. The Griffon Vultures are on an egg, which is good, we will take and hatch it and then return the chick at about ten days old if all goes well. Adam organised CCTV camera’s on all the nests in Barn One and it is great fun to watch the birds playing with sticks, completely demolishing their beautifully made nests, or sitting on their egg. Sadly we can’t put it live on our website as the Broad band here is too slow. So much for rural areas being looked after!!  
There are rooves to fix, gutters to mend, the old Secretary Bird aviary to sort out and make safe and birds to get flying again (if it ever stops raining) all before we open again on February 1st, I just don’t know where the time goes.
We are going to be filming the Burrowing Owl’s nest, we have been asked to work with some Harris Hawks on a project at Oxford University and my sparrow hawk Deneb is in demand, I am getting him out this week to start flying.
I also have to go to India sometime this month as we are going to be working with some of the parents and chicks to see if we can improve on our breeding successes. Not likely to get bored I think!



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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