Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Bloody hell, a month has gone by, I don't know where the time goes, so what has happened. Well if I start from today and go backwards it might work. We spent the last two days looking for Updraft, Holly's male Saker. He buggered off on Monday and we found him fairly easily in the middle of Newent Woods almost at the top of May Hill, he came down pretty well and he was still popular. So having lost a little weight overnight she flew him again yesterday and damn me he did the same thing again! This time we were out in the van from 2.00pm until well after dark. We chased him to Huntley, Kites Nest Woods (very apt!) Highnam, Tibberton, back to Huntley, back to Tibberton and then finally Newent woods again!! But this time on the lower side. By dark having been joined by the rest of the team we were walking through a very muddy wood, I lost my welly and was at one point laughing my head of on my hands and knees with one very soggy sock and my boot about four feet away, and it was not easy to get it out either. We pinned him down to an area where we hoped he was in a tree but it was very dark by this time and very thick woods. So we left him and hoped for the best. Holly and I were back before day light and finally found him on the ground in the middle of the woods, so not only was he very lucky not to have been eaten by a fox, but it explained why the signal was so difficult to follow. He is back and will go back on a training line tomorrow and is rather less popular although he and Holly have now made a record!

The trip to Bangladesh was interesting, the SAVE meeting went very well, it was extremely well organised, the people were wonderful. However - yet another hotel with no alcohol!! We did go on an intrepid trip through Dhaka and found a much posher hotel that did have a bar, but that was the only evening!! Dhaka is a nightmare, the traffic has to be seen to be believed. We then at the end of the meeting went on a six hour trip to a Tea Garden and then in the morning to see birds in a wood (LBJ's) and then to a wetlands where we did see Palaces Fish Eagle (in the distance) and some lovely Brahminy Kites. OK we saw various ducks and more LBJs as well, but I am not a serious bird watcher unless it has a hooked beak and is not a speck in the distance!!

I stopped off in India on the way back and we went to Pinjore and the following day found a potential release site for the birds for the first release and then had a meeting with the people from four States to see if we could work on it being a Vulture Safe Zone in time. Chris and I took the train back to Delhi and an Auto - one of those three wheeler things - a first for me! back to a hotel and I flew out the next morning. I did manage to lose my small camera and I can't find my phone anywhere although I know I had it on the train home to Gloucester.

The birds were all well on my return, all flying well, my Merlin Windward is a dream, one of the best merlin's we have had. Scarba my Lugger Falcon after a shaky start is flying well too. Mark is training a lovely adult African Hawk Eagle for demonstration that has been loaned to us. She won't lay eggs and refuses to hunt, which is perfect for us for demonstrations.

Can you believe it, its December 3rd and we have been mowing the lawns!!!! Its the first time they have been dry enough to get a lawn mower on them, and the grass has not stopped growing.

We saw Sedge on Sunday, he is doing really well and is obviously very loved, he of course went completely banana's and even Mike could hear him from up on the roof!! The roofing is going well, the bees caused a problem but we think that is sorted out now and the dry weather is holding which is wonderful for us.

We are closed now and getting stuff done which is always nice, although I was not pleased to have to tidy up the new workshop this morning!! Agapanthus ate the phone and the answerphone while I was away, but hopefully that is sorted out now, I will be pleased when he stops chewing, but he is having front leg problems and so has to be shut in a lot and that does not help. The big chair in the kitchen is in for repairs again as well!

We have a staff meeting tonight and then its time to get my Christmas Cards sorted out!



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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