Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Blogging ( that is not a very nice word really) has not been a priority this year as is blindingly obvious from how little I have done it, I will try to improve and get back to doing it. Incidentally one of my favourite words is paraffin, nice word and sort of a nice smell too!

The various new staff that we have had over the year have come and gone. Non bird staff we have three new people, all of whom are good and really coming on. Mary is wonderful, easy to work with, great with the customers and willing to have a go at almost anything. Karen in the new downstairs office has got to grips with all the vagaries of the finances and the centre and is really becoming a part of the team now. I think it takes a while for people to settle in really, it does not happen over night.

Alex and Joel are the new bird staff and with enormous help and training from Holly they have come on nicely. Alex has recently got a black belt in Jujitsu and is really getting into his own stuff outside work, he has started a club in Gloucester and is now teaching it - well done him. Pippa has moved out of the flat here and she and her partner have their own house! Exciting stuff, I bought them one of those moulded fish ponds for their garden and for the goldfish that we won at the fair in Ledbury last year.

The cafe has been a challenge this year with lots of staff coming and going, one of which badly let us down by just vanishing in August. The four girls who help out in the busy periods in school holidays were amazing, they really worked hard, and Holly Adam and I did a great deal down there as well. As we get towards winter it is slowing down and we are hoping that our new person will get to grips with it all as time goes on. Anyone who thinks catering is easy - think again!!! Particularly with all the rules and regulations that have to be adhered to.

I am bloody glad I don't have to do all that stuff in my own home, which is probably why I am so healthy!!!

We are looking forward to Rachel starting as marketing and fund raising person, she comes on board next month and will be ably assisted by Adam in marketing and Eileen Hammond in the Fund raising side of it all.

The summer has come and gone, I am looking out at a grey windy autumn day in half term, the leaf colour is wonderful and the gardens are looking great. Oh and if you have never had hardy Chrysanthemums  - get some, they are superb and just seem to go on flowering non stop and brighten the whole place, I am going to get some more! Autumn is my favourite time of the year.

All the birds are fine, we have more vultures, a Lappet-faced vulture arrived, so we are looking for a mate for him or her, the sex needs to be determined first. We have a White-headed Vulture as well, but sadly the mate we got for that has severe eye problems which we need to see if we can solve. We await the return of Neil to check him out.

I was given two male Sakers in the summer and they are both coming on nicely and we bred five Yellow-billed Kites, all of whom are staying here because we need them. I hope to find the funds to build a new enclosure so all the kites can live there and fly from it. I know where I want to put it.

We did lose Darcy Spice to a stroke early in the year, this is not something I have ever seen in any of our birds before. But his step brother Yorkly who is the most beautiful pale Great Horned Owl flew all summer to replace him. We are now getting all the owls ready for the Owl Evenings starting next month

I also tried to put Briza in pup in the summer but did not succeed so I am looking to try again soon. That will mean winter puppies which is not ideal, but all my dogs are getting older so to keep the line, one of them needs to have pups!

Very sadly we lost Moccas recently, she was killed on a power line in the field next door, she leaves a huge gap in the lives of everyone here and many visitors as well.

We have some wonderful volunteers and work experience people now and they make such a difference to what we can get done. We also had some corporate volunteers who bravely came over two weeks and cleared all the bull rushes out of the large pond, it looks amazing and much bigger now. It has taken a lot of journeys to the composting place to get rid of them all though and we are not done yet.

I travelled to Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania in early September to give a lecture on the Vulture Crisis in the Old World species and then straight onto Nepal and India on vulture work, it was a hell of a stint of planes and one I would rather not do again. I have to go to Bangladesh next month and then that is it for travel for a while I hope.

Its nearly flying time so I will look for some photos to go with this and post it as soon as I can.


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