Friday, 17 April 2015

And STILL glorious weather!! Hectic month all in all. Easter was amazing, we had a bit of a wet day on Easter Friday, but still people came, other than that we have had no rain worth talking about and sunshine to bring people out. Certainly the best Easter since I got back in 2009 thank goodness. And it is just lovely how many people will pay that little bit extra and let us have gift aid, it makes a huge difference.

The place is looking lovely, the daffodils are nearly over although my second favourites (the wild ones are my first favourites) which are some incredibly sweet smelling narcissus and are always last. If I put some in a vase they scent the whole room which is wonderful.

The funniest thing about Easter was the baby rabbits in the Burrowing Owl mounds in the flying ground. We think there are five of them and they keep popping up their heads during the flying. Why we have not caught one I will never know. As soon as they are large enough I am afraid they are going to be evicted!

The three baby Stellers are back with various eagles being reared, sadly none of the Verreaux's Eagles eggs were fertile this year, we have no idea why. The Brahminy Kites finally settled and we have two babies, one back with mum and dad and the other going back on Sunday. We are keeping them both as the pair are over 17 years old, so we want a young pair to come on and there is a chap on the continent who is breeding them so we will exchange one. The Mountain Caracara's finally laid eggs that Holly managed to get before they ate them, however they are so dark that we can't see through them in candling, so we have no idea yet if they are fertile. We put a dummy egg with them, one that they could not eat! But they threw it out! Oh and the Barbary Falcons have four eggs that are fertile.

We are rearing a new Great Horned Owl for the experience days and another Ural Owl as well. He or she was not a planned child, so he or she is a bonus bird! The theme for names this year is British village names, there will be a number that I will have to ban!

The newly laid hedge is greening up and looking wonderful. We have planted some new hedging plants in the gaps. The bloody dogs however are finding a number of places in the various fences where they are getting out, so we are going to re-fence 50% of the place with four foot mesh, I hope that will do the trick as it is very stressful worrying about them.

Karis is back on duty and flying like a dream as is Fortina. My merlin Windward is now in for moulting, she was flying brilliantly before we fed her up, but I want her to moult out before the end of august so I can fly her at the Falconry Weekend. My Hobby is now out - she is very weird, I have no idea what is going on in her mind when I fly her, but she could end up being very good, if she remembers that she is doing a demonstration, which half the time I think she forgets!

The wind was in the east today and all the birds loved it. Benbecula (Stellers) was brilliant and so was Stratosphere (grey buzzard eagle), he is a dream to watch fly. I am hoping he will behave on Sunday as it is my first show of the season, not that I am doing many this year, and he is going to take over from Hare who is going to have a summer off so he can have a really good moult. I miss flying him though. I am at Andoversford at the Cotswold Country Fair, flying early before the pony racing starts.

The centre van is not well, the gear box is going and something else as well - a brush thing. My
philosophy with cars is to turn up the radio so weird noises can't be heard, but Adam can spot a problem in a heartbeat. Not sure what we are going to do about it, I don't think it is worth a great deal that is for sure.

Oh and some really good news on Sedge. I got an email today from Gill -
Amazing news about Sedge ……….. I was scratching his chest this morning and his left back leg moved up and down several times. I repeated it with Charlotte watching and he did it again! He retracted his leg back a good inch and a half and back down as if he was scratching himself.

He came to college last weekend to watch the show jumping and met another dog on wheels! It was a sausage dog with wheels like the first set Sedge had. You should have seen the look both dogs gave each other! Charlotte treated him to another fleece coat , black with gold edging – he looks very smart in it.  Isn't that good to know. It is over a year now since his accident, and I am really glad that he is well and happy, but my goodness we do miss him. Still, his happiness is paramount and he loves where he is.


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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