Friday, 23 January 2015
As we are now charitable, apparently I decided at close to the last minute that we need to be better organised to be able to get Gift Aid. If we can encourage our visitors to pay a fraction more to come in and to sign up for Gift Aid it has a significant benefit to the Centre - 28p in every pound, which is a lot of funds over time. So............. it is very difficult to encourage people to spend more if they are talking to you through a window. I can remember the time when if you went to the Bank, or the Post Office you could talk to a person without the barrier of a glass window. That barrier makes it much more difficult to be personal with anyone coming through the 'gate'. So at about the last minute - and its all the fault of one of my trustees who (as yet not knowing that if I think an idea is good I implement it straight away!) said why don't we change the entrance now...... we have!! With a huge amount of work from all the staff we have removed the ramp, changed the shop and entrance around completely - is it finished - nope!! Will it be by February 1st, probably not, but it will be close. The counter has moved and bloody hell it was heavy, the window is going and a new door is going to be ordered on Monday. The paint job starts tomorrow!! And that would be me I suspect, however I am sure the other staff will help me finish it off - a bride of wine will help!
At the same time, I was not happy with what we called the stock room and Holly had an idea about the desks, so a ton of work has happened there in the last three days as well, to be finished off by Holly and Robin on Monday; bearing in mind we have not yet finished the incubation facility, and we are also trying to get ready for opening. But!!!! as the Centre is so much more organised by the great staff and fantastic volunteers,  and the birds in the aviaries looking wonderful and also clean, there is not the major rush we used to have to get ready.
I have to say if you don't notice some pretty big changes around the place, I will be surprised. With leyandii gone (I am pleased to announce that Jimmi put his camera trap by their, now moved, nest box and the Little Owls are already in there and happy), the hedge along our road is being laid and already looks great, and makes the field look much more open; the flying field archway pruned and the path for us to walk reinstated, the shop and stock room reorganised and the incubation facility finished, or it will be soon, we have done a lot!! And managed to have Christmas and New Year as well!!
Birds are doing well, we have some stunning flying birds for the team this year and we are excited by a number of them. The two Owl Evenings that we run in February are nearly booked up, February 14th is full and there are a few places on the 13th which is great. We have eggs in the new incubation room already, and expect chicks by early February, Holly is already going up to the incubation room late at night so we are looking for a nice coffee machine for her in case she has to wait for eggs to hatch. The snowdrops are coming out - actually I still have roses blooming, which is ridiculous, although we did have a very heavy frost this morning so they may have given up. It still has a winter feel, but you know spring is round the corner, and very welcome it will be.
We are going to be doing a PhD study with a student from Swansea on how rain affects birds flying, and I am delighted because you can guarantee that if we want to fly birds in the rain - we will have a drought - perfect!!!



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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