Saturday, 21 February 2015

Soon to come!
I think one of the saddest and most frustrating things about me personally getting old is that my singing voice is no longer what it was. It was never as good as I would have hoped, I always wanted to be a soloist opera singer and singing was very important to me. In reality my voice was never good enough and my disposition was too nervous to sing publically (believe it or not!) as I found to my cost. But to be able to sing along with records (OK CD’s these days) or carol sing at Christmas, was a joy. Now I hear the songs in my head but hardly dare open my mouth as the noise is not the controlled steady voice I used to have I sound like a choir boy who's voice is breaking, – it’s sad and frustrating. I wonder if I practised it would come back, but that is unlikely to happen I suspect.
The last two owls evenings went really well, although it was damp on the Friday we managed to get away with both the outside guided tours and the outside flying demonstration. The birds did superbly. Blizzard our young female Snowy Owl really is coming on a treat. We are working with Drift the male, and he is nearly back to being able to do demonstrations, once there we will give Blizzard a well deserved rest to moult and be ready for next late autumn. We gave a total of 540 people a really good evening over the nine evenings we ran, and it was lovely to hear the nice comments at the end of each of them.
We are now almost at the end of half term and we have been busy apart from one day when it was dreadful weather. Lots of kids and grandparents, and all of them seemed to have a good time, we were lucky with the weather today, the storm of hail came between the two demonstrations and we still managed to get every bird flown. The weather for tomorrow does not look great, cold and dry to start with but then storms coming in.
The breeding season moves on, the baby vulture is back with mum and dad and doing well, one of the Grey Buzzard Eagles went back with mum but did not survive the other one is doing well and is a monster. The Brahminy Kites laid an egg on the bath ledge which survived and is in the incubator, we have to rethink an aviary for them now as she can no longer get to the nest ledge in Barn two. The Hooded vulture egg is going OK we think and we await other eggs as time goes on.
The pups are doing OK, I try to keep Nightshade as quiet as possible which is not easy, Agapanthus continues to eat and chew everything in sight. I was a little horrified when he tried to chew a FULL bottle of wine, phew, thank goodness he failed, although opening the screw top lid may be a challenge in the future. The other dogs are fine and so relieved that we are open again and have visitors and the CAFE!!!
At the end of this month we get out some of the flying team, so Karis will be back on duty and Hare, and as long as it dries out, the burrowing owls as well.
Spring is on the way! Oh and we are going to run a competition to design a new Logo, see our Facebook page (don't ask me I have no idea how to get onto it) for details. Holly has put in her first effort - it is not going to win!
Monday, 9 February 2015
A week into being open as a Charity, and being charitable seems to be working so far,  its wonderful when people are prepared to pay a little extra and give us Gift Aid. Which is very special I have to say. The weekend was great, on Saturday we had a grey over cast day, but still a goodly number of visitors and all went OK. Sunday was a delight, a frosty to start the day and then sunny all the way through and by the afternoon it was like spring, clear, sunny, warm, birds singing, just amazing. Once the sun went down the temperature plummeted and this morning we had another heavy frost but another amazing day. Far less busy today but then it was a Monday. But Rob even had the chance to mow lawns!!!
Its been a difficult time with the dogs, the poor pups have had a bad time. Agapanthus has the second of two operations on his front legs to try and help his elbows, and so is very lame and sorry for himself. Then last week I was backing the golf cart out of the shed, and caught Nightshade between the cart and the door frame  and fractured off her epiphyseal plate. Growth plate at the top of the femur on her back leg.  It was my fault, which of course made me feel dreadful. She was at our local vet within half an hour on Tuesday for X-rays, stayed there over night and then David Morton helped me by driving her and me down to Bristol to the referral vets where they have reattached the epiphyseal plate with pins and I collected her  on Friday. Now she has to be quiet and resting for 6 weeks, which is be a nightmare as she is already feeling better and wants to be moving fast! They were thinking that she might have to have a hip replacement, but I am glad the primary surgery worked as the hip replacement is really expensive. Hopefully if I can keep them both quiet for the six weeks, they will both be able to run around and annoy people at Easter. 
We have our first two chicks of the year two Grey Buzzard Eagles,  with the Griffon Vulture hatching at the moment, the new incubation room is working well and the brooder room too. Its really nice to be able to go in there and have some space, rather than be cramped, and its lovely to have chicks again and be able to show them to the visitors. 
The snowdrops are coming out, the wild daffodils and showing and although there is probably another five weeks of winter, spring is sort of on its way!
My Red Kite is finally beginning to get to where I want her in terms of flying, the falcons are doing really well, although my female Merlin Windward is moulting a few of her back feathers and they look more like she might be a he, not a she!! Benbecula is flying well as is the new Verreaux's Eagle, Aurora! Mark's African Hawk Eagle is on a different planet from the rest of us and the owls are just coming back on line for the last two Owl Evenings which are fully booked up.
Sunday, 1 February 2015

Well our very first day open as a charity is done and dusted and it was great, Jan got the hang of asking for Gift Aid and the first people who happily paid a little extra we took photos of and they are on our Facebook page. They were lovely and stayed all day. It was bright and sunny although the wind was on the bitter side. The shop looked great with huge amounts of efforts from Helen, Holly, Pippa, Jan, David, and of course the dogs who were really helpful! There is still more to do, but the whole feel of the shop is quite different and it is much bigger or seems it.
Adam sorted out all the phones and computers, so it all works well and David - Jan's husband removed one radiator and moved the other one. David Morton sorted out all the accounts and finances and two Trustees David and Adam were with us for most of the day.
The birds flew well, OK I admit my Red Kite was not quite what I would have liked, but the flying was nice, the coming back not quite so nice and the sitting in a tree definitely not nice. However Benbecula flew brilliantly, it is lovely to see such a huge eagle in the air. Holly's Saker did very well and the new African Hawk Eagle was not phased by the visitors, but also not exactly keen to fly - but she looked good!
It all looks so much more open with the Leylandii gone, and once the summer comes the aviaries will be much lighter. The gardens are looking good and the snowdrops are coming out - apart from the ones that Briza dug up - three times. Jimmi and Rob had a team of Scouts with them today and they did a huge clear up in the horse field where the hedge along the road is being laid. Again the difference with it down low is amazing and the view of the Malverns is lovely
Sedge came over today as well to see everyone, he was very very very excited and very very very vocal!! But it was great to see him and he remembered all the members who love him, he also went down to the café and had a whole sausage. Angela and Tracy, who have worked really hard getting the café all spruced up were very pleased to see him - oh and you should try the home made bread Angela is doing - its to die for!
Pippa has a GoPro camera, which she put on Adam and he filmed the Eurasian Black Vulture Bernard (not my choice of name I promise) who was delightful and later she put it on Briza, that made for some interesting filming. I particularly liked the bit where the screen went black as Night Shade tried to bite it!
The breeding season is upon us, the Verreaux's Eagle laid last night - we saw it happen, the Griffon Vulture's egg is in the incubator and she is on a wooden one. The Grey Buzzard Eagle eggs are also in the incubator and the Hooded Vultures have an egg. So things are moving on that is for sure.
Come and see all the changes, you will be amazed!


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