Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Nearly the end of August, what has happened to the year - it has vanished. We have had the most glorious summer weather and that has made a big difference in visitor numbers so we have been very busy. All birds are flying well and Hare (Indian Tawny Eagle) managed to find a thermal and get height!! Only the third time in 16 years! But it was a sight to see. Karis has been loving the weather although a couple of days ago when Fens Falconry brought some of their birds to rehearse for the Falconry Weekend which is now less than two weeks away, they put a very beautiful Ferruginous Buzzard on the lawn and Karis just hated it, I had to move him out of sight.

We have some lovely new birds coming along on the team. The Black Shouldered Kite that arrived last year is now flying and its a scream, it flies beautifully, although not always where you want it and as it comes into land it drops its legs and just looks hysterical, bit of a charmer really. The two new Luggers are doing well although have the usual Lugger temperament (touchy!). We have added one more Barbary and one more Lanner to the team - both bred here this year.

I gather there has been an article about Hen Harriers in the Sunday Times, I don't read newspapers because they bore me and because I consider that they are only really suitable to put under the birds in our hospital, in that way we put on them roughly what is in them and as usual this article proves my point. I did look up Johnathon Leake and interestingly he is not recommended by any other journalists, that could of course be a good thing!

The hen harrier, Britain’s rarest bird of prey, is to be bred in a “battery” farm similar to those used by the poultry industry

This remarkably stupid and extremely ill informed statement is how he leads on the article, which damns it from the start sadly. The interesting thing I find about newspapers is just how incredibly inaccurate they always are. You can even write the article for them and they will still get it wrong. My sister is married to a journalist in the US and they assure me that American journalists have to make sure their facts are right. What a shame UK journalists appear to be incapable of following suit. They are at times so inaccurate it beggars belief, and sadly they can damage things very easily by writing without checking facts. 

I went up north in July and was involved in satellite tagging two young Hen Harriers. Monitoring is a vital part of the conservation plan to see where these birds go and sadly if they get killed on Grouse moors, which we know happens. I have to say I really hope these two make it to breeding age and produce young themselves that would be very special.

Bank holiday weekend coming up in three days and we are praying that the weather holds - it plays such a huge part in good visitor numbers and we are nearly at the end of the school holidays so it is important. Although I love the autumn here as we have what is called the grey pound - people who have retired and want to go out when there are not a ton of children around, and generally they are lovely! I am flying at the Essex Dog Day on the sunday, so a trip round the M25, but they are such a nice show I don't mind.

I am struggling at the moment to find a venue in London to hold an event for our charity, I want to do it in December and be able to take a few birds to illustrate what we do. So far venues are either too expensive, have closed down, do not bother to reply, or are just unhelpful. Its very depressing as time is of the essence and I don't have much of time spare! 

India vulture trip looms next month I have to be away from September 9th to 22nd, and its a big chunk out of September, I hope I don't miss an Indian summer here. I wonder which Indian that really means - I will have to google it!

We have a lorry load of concrete arriving tomorrow, the new trailer to carry away all the compost to the composting place is working a treat so we are turning the old compost heap into a store for sand and gravel with a floor, so that should make life easier and waste less sand which is bloody

keeping cool in the hot weather!
expensive. 

The place is looking good although the grounds are suffering a little from lack of rain, however that is a problem I am very happy with.  

I managed to slip over in the weighing room a couple of weeks ago, thought I had broken my ankle, but it was just a bad sprain, and it is still being a pain. Hope it is fixed by the time I have to fly or it will be uncomfortable that is for sure.

Better get on with things to do for the Falconry Weekend! 

Hello

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.

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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHZGQ8i8AwI

HC

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