Sunday, 2 November 2014
Apart from Wednesday, and possibly today, its been a glorious school half term and we have been really busy, which has been lovely to see. With sun, and people and autumn colours, it has been a good week, although pretty short staffed a lot of the time. Roll on being able to afford a couple more bird staff.

The dogs have been frightening me to death eating Yew berries, the tree in the drive is laden and as fast as we rake them up, more come down, I will be glad when they are done. So far there has not been a problem but they are very toxic, and I know they are going through them because their droppings are very festive!

We start Owl Evenings next Saturday, its amazing how quickly they come around. I am hoping that the two young Snowy Owls will be able to get into the swing of things and start to be as good as Cool Ground was. The bookings are going well and most of the November dates are full with December slowly filling up, I am always surprised that November is more popular than December as it seems to be such a Christmassy thing to do!

The speakers in the field are now back up and both running properly, we were down to one which was not good, but yesterday the weather was so amazing I tackled the digging in of the new cable with Adam and we started at 9.00am, and by 1.30 with half an hour for coffee and a break during the flying demonstration, we had the cable inside a pipe, the 50 metre trench dug, the cable in, the speakers both working and the soil and turf back in place before 1.30, not bad going for about three hours work. Patrick one of our volunteers came and helped after the first demonstration, and Holly tested the sound system with a poem on the Jabberwok!

We go down to two demonstrations per day as of Monday which should give us more time to get things done. Charlie does it at Duncombe and my staff wanted to see if it could work for us. So often there is no one there for the last demonstration in the winter, so just doing two should work. They will be at 12.00 noon and 2.30pm, and as we will have a fair number of birds to fly, depending on the weather I suspect they will each last close to an hour anyway.

We have a full line up for the seven day course starting on Monday as well, so Mark will be out of action for a week teaching that, with input from some of the rest of us as well.

The move to the new workshop is working well and so far all the tools are being kept tidy - wonders will never cease. It makes such a difference if you can find things quickly to do jobs. We fixed the roof over the coal and wood shed, it was leaking badly over all the main electrics, which somehow did not seem to be a very good idea. Needless to say the job became more complicated as soon as we started, with some of the wall having to be rebuilt! However it looks very good now and I managed by sheer luck to buy 5 solid (and I mean solid - they weigh a ton) for £30 each, so two will go as doors into the new brooder and incubation rooms and three in the courtyard. We priced hardwood door surrounds and they wanted £160 each!!!! So I am getting Philip to make them for me.

The first internal wall in the new Avian Propagation Unit (that will never last as a name!) is up and only has to be clad, so hopefully we will be racing ahead with all that, as some of the birds are already looking like thinking of nest building, we need to get it done. I think the big trench across my front lawn is going to have to wait until next year.

Holly's new Saker called Updraft is going well - very well, the female called Sandstorm buggered off two weeks ago, Mark and Jimmi tracked her until dark and made sure she was up in a tree and Jimmi and I got there just before first light and finally got her back after a couple of hours chase. We did our good deed for the day and rescued a sheep with its head stuck in a fence, it was not at all grateful.

Sedge is well, Agapanthus ate the TV remote control, and has an annoying habit of picking up the water bowl when it is full, you can imagine the result.


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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