Saturday, 13 September 2014
Vultures in Delhi in 1992
Off to India and Nepal on Monday, it is a gruelling trip, six flights, one train trip, one 6 hour road trip, three vulture centres and heaven knows how many vultures to catch up and process for health checks, checking on identification marks, and obtaining DNA for sexing, plus various meetings as well. However it needs to be done. I am going with Nic Masters the chief vet at ZSL who is fun to travel with and we will be seeing Chris Bowden in Nepal. But I miss 12 days of the autumn here!! And to cap it all I have a horrid cold to go with!
Sedge's new hat
Sedge is well and very happy, here is what Gill wrote about him this week:
Sedge has settled in SO well. No tummy upsets - yet. Fly (Colly) adores him. He had to spend the mornings last week at home (approx. 3 hours) with Fly as it was enrolment week at college. Charlotte was home by 11am each day. On the first day she peeped through the window and saw that he was asleep in his cage with Fly sleeping alongside him on the outside and Smudge our ginger and white cat asleep on top of the cage! This seems to be a habit now. He has been to Tessa / Karen for hydrotherapy and is there Tuesday at 5pm and again on Friday.
He went to Moreton Show on Saturday and loved it. He was fascinated by the motor bike display in the main ring. Charlotte bought him a doggy tweed cap which he is very proud of.
We will be going to Frampton this weekend with him and maybe have a go at terrier racing.
We are so pleased with him and cannot imagine life without him. Amanda has taken several photos of him for you which she will send in the next few days. Some of them are of him mucking out our neighbours horses yesterday. She has Escapado (Peanuts) on permanent loan (she used to be Carl Hesters head groom) and he was fascinated by Sedges wheels.
So I don't have to worry about him which is wonderful, and it is even more wonderful that he is happy and so are his new owners. So now Briza is causing problem!! She keeps getting out and taking the puppies with her, she is now in jail until we get the fence sorted out.
We are topping the Leylandii behind the small falcon block which is where she is now escaping and once that is done then the fence can be redone as well. My very nice neighbourly farmer has offered to clear up the tops with a machine and dispose of them for us, which will save us a ton of work and we are very grateful. I have been meaning to do it for ages but it was a daunting task. We will then put up nest boxes in the remains, which will be over 12 feet high and should still give homes to various birds.
Oh and some of my customers have seen two Kingfishers on the pond, which is exciting, I have not seen them but then whenever I go down there the dogs come, so that probably frightens them away. And we have a wild Barn Owl who keeps coming round and chatting up our trained ones, I suspect it is a female as she seems to like the two males, she also sits on Holly's window! Nice to see. So that means we have Little Owls, Tawny Owls and a Barn Owl around us in the wild, as well as the Goshawks, Buzzards, Kestrels, Peregrines, Hobby's and the occasional Red Kite which we have seen twice this week.
The bats are now roosting in the new garage, which is nice, it must be much drier than my cellar. They look like little plums hanging there and they are right up in the apex so well away from anything, I was hoping that the Swallows would go in there too, perhaps next year. They are all getting ready to leave soon and will probably be gone by the time I get back from Nepal.
Zephyr is the newest species for us to breed, he is a (very noisy!) and wonderful Brahminy Kite and is starting to fly really well, you should come and see him before the end of the year!
Friday, 5 September 2014
Its autumn!! It really is, mists in the morning, the leaves are turning on the field maples and on my Indian Horse Chestnut tree, I have picked and eaten (and survived!) mushrooms from the field and it feels like autumn now, although it has been very warm once the mist has gone.
The Falconry Weekend went really well, the weather was kind, I was worried during the week as we did have rain and I was concerned that the field would get cut up before the weekend, but Burgoynes who put up all the shedding and marquees were great and did it all from their lorry on the hardstanding track at the top. The people delivering the loos were really helpful too as the ground was a little soft on the Wednesday. However Saturday dawned dry and reasonably bright with a zephyr of a breeze and all went well. Helen MacDonald signed and sold all her books and David Cobham signed and sold all his by lunchtime, I find it remarkably stupid of the publishers that they would not allow either author more books when they probably could have sold double the number. Very stupid people who obviously do not know their job! Poor Helen had to buy the extra books I suggested she bring and even then did not have enough - Publishers - grow up and learn your market a little better.
Baby Verreaux's will be out soon!
All the birds did well, the seminars were well attended and we had nearly double the number of stands this year over last year. Helen, Jimmi, Adam and Holly all helped me cut up the venison on Thursday evening and we ate some as well to test it - it was very good. I then marinated it in cider until the BBQ on Saturday evening for all the clubs and trade stands, we had a very good time. I am told that one artist who shall be nameless had a particularly good time and had to be helped up the lawn to his bed at 2.00am! He did not look that well in the morning!!
Sedge was greatly missed, he probably would have had a great time and eaten himself silly, Indigo certainly would have done as he did last year. I missed them both. The other dogs behaved well, although Briza did steal some socks from Trevor Fowles' tent - he flew his lovely Bald Eagle for us. I have not offered to give them back as they are not really wearable any longer. The puppies enjoyed it and Agapanthus joined me in the last demonstration and helped to fly a falcon - well sort of helped!!
I had to go to a meeting of the National Birds of Prey Trust on Monday morning in London which I did not want to do, because really I was needed for the clear up, however next year I will be home to help do it. I must have been more tired than I thought as I ran to catch the 2.30 train home and then went to sleep just before Swindon where I should have changed trains and woke up just as the damn train was pulling out of the station so there went all my plans for getting home early.
However the field is clear and clean, everything is away for another year, or almost everything. We have a seven day course next week and I fly to India on Monday Week for twelve days. I am not looking forward to it as I miss so much here. However needs must as they say.
I am hoping to get my Hobby out soon, and probably a good thing not today as there were a ton of dragonflies on the pond.


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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Website counter