Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Well the weather has been glorious for days now, its just so nice to have warm dry days. The birds have been flying brilliantly, and the falcons just love it. Karis has been pulling the most amazing stoops out of the bag.
All the baby owls are doing very well except for Storm who sadly is going to have to leave us as she seriously wants to kill the smaller dogs, which I cannot have. She needs to go to a dog free zone. Muggy is doing really well, he is an Abyssinian Eagle Owl, Haze the new Barn Owl, is coming along, the Northern Hawk Owl who does not yet have a name is going to be excellent, Drizzle the Asian Brown Wood Owl looks like being a girl and is getting the idea now. Team Cloud - the SIX burrowing owls are getting the idea. And the Snowy Owls have started to hatch so Mark and I will be training one each of those.
We have moved Delectable and she is much happier in her new aviary, also the Lappet faced Vulture is now in the old Secretary Bird aviary and is much more settled. The young Lanners are mostly full grown and we  are going to move them away from parents soon so we can start training them after a couple of weeks on their own.
I am off to hospital tomorrow for a cataract operation, they are doing my left eye first and then the other one I hope. Everyone tells me it is a breeze and makes a huge difference - I bloody hope so!!
The puppies are growing like mad and all bar two have been sold, I have two beautiful dog pups left. All are going this weekend, and then I hope to be able to focus on the two I am keeping, a huge boy called Agapanthus and the girl is called Night Shade (Deadly not Woody!).
The Incubation Facility is coming along although we are short of funds for it now. The workshop is at a standstill until the Incubation Facility is finished, but that should not take long I hope once we start on it. The grounds are looking wonderful thanks to Rob's hard work. We are looking for a new staff member and I already have 36 CV's to go through.
Our baby Brahminy Kite is growing apace and is wonderful, it sounds exactly like its parents, Holly is going to have her hands full with that one. My baby Tawny Eagle is still with us, but I dare not give her a name yet.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow............
Monday, 16 June 2014

There are times when I hate being open to the public. Most of our customers are wonderful, but some are just awful. We have some beautiful trees and plants here, two particularly nice ones are the two Acers that are by the Kite block. We had a bench under one for shade, some son of a bitch has ripped off four branches so they can be more comfortable, all they had to do was either ask or move the bench, brainless idiots, but no, just tear off four branches from a beautifully shaped tree that does not belong to you why don't you. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, its a bloody good job I did not catch them at it or they would have left with a great deal lighter wallet. I also would probably have carefully placed at least one of the branches up their nose. Those sort of people I do not want here.

Other than that we had a great half terms, lots of visitors and although needless to say the weather forecast was wrong and actually apart from Thursday it was fine. We managed to fly all the birds mainly outside and all went well. I had a show early June at Milland in West Sussex, I do it every two years, it is just the most beautiful countryside down there, the drive is a bit of a pain as the A272 is very windy for the birds, but you pass the most stunning punch bowl scenery which I have always wanted to stop and fly a bird in! The birds flew well and it all went as planned.
Holly and I have been flying Pan and Encore (the two Barn Owls) every evening after feeding the babies because on Friday we did a film job with them. It was a difficult job, as it was away from home (near Rickmanworth) and through the night. They had been going well and we were reasonably happy, but neither bird would tolerate telemetry, try as we might.
So after a full days work on Friday Holly, Jimmi (he was desperate to meet David Attenborough) and I drove up to the M25 meeting with Adam on the way. We got there about 8.00pm and were soon filming in a beautiful old barn. Encore was very good, he did get upset when the camera (a three D one which was huge) moved on the boom, but as we had four people, his rapid exit out of a hole in the barn was covered by Adam outside. We then moved outside and did flying shots in the dark. There was a huge crane with a light to be the moon, and another light on a wheat field, plus the camera on tracks and about 22 people not counting us. Encore did well and we then switched to Pan. Pan has always been an interesting bird as he will suddenly go off on a little jaunt. He did well to start with and then disappeared behind the barn. We shot round there, but no sign. The crew broke for a meal and we all went off looking for him. We spent about an hour walking the whole area calling him, some of the crew helped, and we left Adam and Jimmie looking because then Holly and I had to go back and finish the filming. Encore did brilliantly and then before the last shot the heavens opened and we abandoned the last shot.
Holly and I then had to drive the two Barn Owls (we had taken Haze the new baby as a stand in) back to ICBP as there were babies to feed,  birds to check, dogs and puppies to manage and we had an external demonstration that afternoon in Gloucester. We got home at 5.30am, keeping in touch with Adam and Jimmi who had continued the search. The dogs were insistent that I fed them! We got the morning tasks done, I flew Pinotage at the first demonstration and then we loaded up the birds ready to leave with the trailer and landrover.  In the meantime I had phoned Sally to ask if either she or David would drive Holly and I back up to Rickmansworth that late afternoon, I did not dare drive as by then we would have been up for nearly 40 hours. Sally came over and spent a couple of hours phoning vets and other people about the missing Pan, just as we were leaving for the show someone phoned up, he had tweeted about Pan and someone had answered - Pan had been seen on the other side of the dual carriageway sitting on a car. Adam and Jimmi were rapidly phoned, but by this time they had gone back to Oxford where Adam lives to get fresh chicks for looking. They shot back to Rickmansworth and  met up with the farmer who worked the land that we were filming on, they split up around the housing estate and Pan came to the farmer who had a glove and food and all was well. Holly and I were at the show when we got a phone call that they had a Pan in a box!! So that was a very good ending to an exhausting day. I have to say I was very relieved not to have to go back up there again.
The breeding season is slowing down, thank goodness, with just a few eggs to go. Oh and guess what we just bred our first Brahminy Kite!! He is lovely and our 66 species. The birds are flying well, the puppies are wonderful and I think all have homes now. They will be going the weekend after next, apart from the one (s!) I might be keeping.
Now I am told I have to fork out for a bloody baby changer because we don't have one in the gents loos. Why the hell I have to be responsible for other people's damn babies I fail to see, I already have to deal with their dirty nappies. So I am looking out for the cheapest one I can find because sure as hell I am not buying one of those expensive ones that fold up onto the wall, I would like to bet they do not have one of those at home. Quite frankly I would not want to change a baby in a public loo anyway, what is wrong with their car. Although then I would probably find the nappy in the bushes - do we - oh yes!!


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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