Saturday, 19 July 2014

Well I have to say its been a shitty week. The weather was lovely until last night when we had a mother of a thunderstorm and very heavy rain, which I was out in as there was a power cut and the drains were blocking. However the gardens did need it, this will have given them a much needed drink. At the end of last week our Great Grey Owl from the Owl Courtyard, one of the breeding pair, except that they have never bred, got ill. We took it to Vets Now, but sadly she died two days later. Then a good friend of mine gave me a ten day old male Sparrow Hawk chick, who died 36 hours later. I am confident that it was nothing that we did, I do not know why it happened sadly. Then Nijinsky our elderly and much loved Kestrel suddenly became ill and as he was rapidly losing weight and not responding to treatment we decided not to try and keep him going when it obviously was not fair on him so he was euthanized. Then the oldest male baby Snowy Owl decided to die, he had been doing well, but had enteritis that did not show until he was dead. Then to cap it all my beautiful baby Tawny Eagle suddenly got the same symptoms as the other Tawny Eagles had, just when we thought we were past the danger point, and so I had to have him euthanized as well. So a really shitty week all in all.

However the puppies have now all gone and so the two I am keeping - Agapanthus who is a boy and twice the size of Nightshade who is a girl. They are very happy and pleased to be in the house and have settled well all things considered. Sedge is not being too mean to them and I have not had to rush downstairs in the middle of the night to a screaming puppy as yet! It is a relief to have the others gone and I know they are all in great homes, so I don't have to worry about them. I hope their new owners are having as much fun with them as we are. Mine love the fan in the weighing room, because it has been so warm they have been lying in front of, when they are not trying to dig all the water out of the various water bowls around the place!
We have started training this years young Lanners or at least some of them, we are keeping and training five as we are a little short on flyers this year. I am training and female as is Helen and Jimmi is training a male, the other two are second clutch birds and so not quite ready, so Holly and Mark will train those. I am also training the only Merlin that we bred, who is jumping to the fist nicely however we can't work out what sex it is! Its definitely either male or female.
Holly and I did a flying demonstration on Thursday in Quedgeley, which is near the river on the outskirts of Gloucester and it is always a difficult place to fly because of the damn gulls. We must have had 400 of the things flying over us when we started. They chased the falcons and hated the eagle but otherwise ignored the kites and Harris Hawk. The birds were amazing although you could see they were a little concerned about the gulls. So was I!
My sister Dinah and brother Nick are here now, both arrived yesterday, so they saw a short period of sunny weather and now it is raining again as I write bugger it.

Thursday, 3 July 2014
My eye is sore! Damn it, I think I can see better, but I am not sure, if I close the right eye things are more or less in focus but it has changed my vision and I don't think my brain has caught up with it yet!
Still have two boy pups to go, so if you know anyone who would love a beautiful pedigree KC registered black lab, let me know! I have been taking them out into the field and they just love the Burrowing Owl mounds, they were obviously made just for puppies to play on. I can remember when Sedge was tiny he actually went down one of the tunnels, it was fun to see.
Sedge does not like the puppies, he is horrid to them and needless to say they are fascinated by his wheel chair, so it is not a good mix at the moment. Karen from Cotswold Dog Hydrotherapy is convinced that Sedge will walk again, even our Vet Eden Tanner was amazed at the difference in him, it is harder for me to see differences because I see him everyday and cope with his not insignificant needs, but fingers crossed that I can cope long enough for it to happen.
Holly's Hawk Owl now called Sirocco is flying very well as is Muggy the Abyssinian Eagle Owl that Jimmi has trained. Haze, Helen's Barn Owl is a girl most definitely and is flying to the buzzer, but is a little too fat at the moment! Team Cloud, the SIX Burrowing Owls are now on demonstration although it is a little chaotic I have to say! Rhian has been training  Drizzle the Asian Brown Wood Owl, who is hysterical, he starts to fly towards her, or the perch and then panics, he almost hovers and then has to make a decision to turn back or go on and he is not that decisive! Mark and I are going to train two of the now hatching Snowy Owls, well most have hatched, there is one to go.
The Grey Buzzard Eagle has finally taken back a chick so she is rearing one now, which is great. The Striated Caracara's have looked like laying for weeks and not done it although I am not that sorry. We have three eggs left in the incubators and then we are done for the breeding season - hooray! Our wild Little Owls brought off four chicks in the Leylandii hedge, which Jimmi ringed. I have a feeling he is the one that ringed some of our magpies as well, however one ended up in Gazelle's feet (Lanner) and did not survive the experience, he was very proud of himself.
It has been dry for ages, so the garden is suffering a little, but we are getting wonderful flying from those birds who like warm weather. Discovery has been a little odd since her short stay at Duncombe, twice now she has seriously and I mean seriously chased pigeons, she damn nearly got one two days ago and it was a really exciting flight!! We will be starting on the new falcons in a week or so, which will be good as we are a little short on falcons right now. Its always fun to start on the new birds.
My brother and sister are coming to stay this month which will be fun, I have not seen either of them for nearly two years, that is the problem of one being in the US and one being in New Zealand I guess.
Don't forget - I need a good home for the last pups!


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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