Sunday, 30 October 2016

October 30th 2016

The clocks changed last night, so shorter days, but I prefer the daylight for getting up, makes it easier. Back safely from the US, it was a good conference and a stunning place. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. And the place was beautiful although I suspect a nightmare in the summer with millions of humans there. 
My Second Lugger is now loose, called Polonium he is full of feistiness and very funny. I think he will be a better flyer than his brother Squill, but we will see. The new Red Kite called Cadmium is charming, much nicer that Muckle Rowe which would not be difficult. I am not sure of its sex though. Supposedly a female but quite a big small than my other two. Its feather condition leaves a lot to be desired but that is fixable. Autumn persists in being beautiful and half term is nearly over.

October 18th
Here in Cape May, the conference has been going very well and the place is glorious. I have walked along the beach every morning and watched the sun rise, and the sea crashing on the sand. I leave my shoes on a fence by the sand dunes and walk down to the sea, it is surprisingly warm and just beautiful to watch and to paddle in. So I have paddled in the foam each morning watching the gulls and the terns, the sanderlings run up and down as the waves rush up the sand and retreat, they even have time to chase off other sanderlings with their feathers ruffled up. Just perfect, I wish the dogs were here!
This afternoon I have to chair (it’s called moderating over here) a session, which means I have to be in the whole thing – ah well.

October 15th
Just about to leave again, this time I am going the other way, west rather than east as I am going to Cape May for the Raptor Research Foundation meeting which has its Board meeting on Sunday and then the conference during the week. As usual, I have to rush back so there is not the time to go on any of the trips, which is sort of annoying. I am giving a paper on the Status of Vultures world-wide, which I am looking forward to doing.

We have been having the most glorious autumn with warm dry sunny days and we have had our first frost, not a significant one, but bearing in mind last winter we barely had a frost, so it was good to see. Autumn should be autumn and winter should be winter and we have not had either for a while. The leaf colour is amazing here when we have had frosts, the maples, and beeches, plus the liquid amber's which we have several of give us huge variation which I love.

All birds are flying well, the new female Lugger is going to be absolutely amazing if we don’t screw up, she is getting up really good height which for a young falcon is exciting to see and she may turn out to be another Karis. The Barbary has finally learnt to get enough height so that instead of doing a disappearing act because he can’t find his way back, he can see where we are and is coming back regularly, which is a huge bonus – and flying very well.
My male Lugger has a long way to go! The wild Peregrine from Norfolk is finally recovering, and will be retrained and flown and as soon as she has caught a couple of things we will take her back to Norfolk and release her with a sigh of relief.

Once I am back which is only 6 days, I have the brother of the Lugger to start on, he injured his leg early on and so after a rest he is now back to being trained, it will not be easy as he is older than I would like, but it will be interesting to see if he is like his little bro.

I have one more trip to India in late November, then it’s a serious start on getting organised for next year which is our 50th anniversary year and so a big one.


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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