Sunday, 26 February 2017
In South Africa not here sadly!
OK its time for a moan, I use Outlook as my email thing, occasionally I need to search for an email, but if you put the name of the person that you want to search it gives you three options, HOWEVER does it bloody give you the time after you have typed the name to get your mouse over the option that you want, NO, it is infuriating because it means you don't get the search you want and I can't get to the mouse quick enough. Sometimes I hate software writers, they really do not have a clue what the customer wants. And while I am at what the hell does dock the peek mean for heaven's sake!! And where have all my reminders gone!!! Outlook sort thing out please!

Its like super markets, when they change everything around - not cool. My idea of heaven would be a supermarket online that has a camera so you can 'walk' up and down the aisles and see what you want, just having a list does not help me at all!!

We have decided on our new bird staff member and he starts soon, it was such a close run thing that we are going to employ the runner up and he was so close it was a really difficult choice, as seasonal staff and hope we can do well enough this year to keep him full time.
The logs from the top wood, now gone and giving us better flying

We also now have a Wonderful Sale/Marketing/PR person, by the name of Jen, as we have a Jen volunteer here and new Jen has marvelous bright pink hair she is now called Pink Jen! I hope to have her new office sorted out by the end of this coming week. She will I know make a big difference to the Centre - so please pray for a great summer weather wise as that will help as well.

The breeding season is upon us, the African White backed vultures laid their first egg but sadly they moved it and it got covered with nest material and chilled so it did not survive, we are hoping they might recycle, but I am not confident now. The Eurasian Griffons have an egg and so do our pair up at Duncombe, so fingers crossed for them. The luggers have laid and the Burrowing Owls are also on eggs, so we are moving forward as ever.

Over worked??!!
The snowdrops are out, believe it or not we have mowed the Hawk Walk twice already and the field once - in February!! The wild daffodils are showing and the flaming wind is breaking the domestic daffodils.

Storm Doris meant no flying outside that day and we lost one big tree, luckily in the horse field (with no horse sadly!) and it fell in the best place, not hitting the fence, the hedge, any other trees, the road or people, good planning!

We are getting the bird team going well now, some of the falcons have been loving the wind. The team is increasing as we move toward March and the season hotting up as it were. It is going to be an exciting year with lots going on. Watch this space!

Sunday, 12 February 2017
Guess who is back on duty!
I am now exhausted!! We have done four days of interviews, two days for potential new bird staff, one day for PR/Sales/Marketing person and one day of looking for a new Cafe Manager. There were 49 applicants for the bird staff job, so with much effort we went through all the CV's and brought it down to 12 that we wanted to interview. And I should say the quality was good on  all of the CV's. We had 16 applicants for the PR/Sales/Marketing job and brought that down to six and 11 applicants for the Cafe Manager job and aimed for six of those.

summer is coming!
I feel very strongly that you should answer every application, which is not the norm I have to say. So we answered all of them and asked 12, 6 and 6 to come for interviews. Apart from a couple who's emails I got wrong, once sorted we had all 12 applicants reply for the bird job and accept the interview date apart from one so we easily replaced him.

Similarly the PR, the six we asked all replied for the interview. The cafe Manager job was a great deal less successful. Two of the people we asked never even bothered to reply (not cool!) one we had to chase to see if he was interested in coming (why would you apply if you weren't!!).

All of the twelve bird staff interviews arrived on time, as they should, interviewed and it was a seriously difficult choice to move to the next stage because the quality was so high. The PR/Marketing/Sales similarly all arrived on time, all interviewed well and again it was a difficult choice, but we have now the right person for us I think and we are really excited that she is coming.

The cafe manager position - well -  the first person due never rolled up and eventually we, having phoned and left messages heard that she had forgotten to come!!! What does that tell you I wonder. The next four were great, all on time, some more suited to the job than others, but it was really cheering that they had come to interview. The last one not only never rolled up, but had actually been phoned two days previously to see if he was going to come, said yes, but still never arrived and never bothered to even apologise. Well we will not be bothering to see him again and whoever does employ him - be aware, he is apparently not reliable or polite!!

Hope to be training one of these this year
Tomorrow we do the work day with the six potential bird staff that are through, I had planned to have four or five, but they were so good, that we feel that we need to know more. And for the six that did not make it, it was an incredibly difficult choice. I always wish I could employ all of them - just need to win huge amounts on the lottery to do so.

Tuesday I am quite hoping will be a quieter day apart from the last of the Owl Evenings and
Wednesday I fly to Spain for the Multi species Action Plan overarching workshop for vultures. Back home late on Saturday night. I really hope I do not have to do any traveling for a bit after that.

The first viable egg of the year is getting ready to hatch. The weather has been bloody freezing and the poor people in the flying field have been blue with cold, BUT seen some amazing flying. The dogs are moulting all over all the carpets, I swear I sweep up a Labrador a day!

Apart from that life goes on and the Centre slowly moves into its 50 anniversary year as February races towards its final day.


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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