Sunday, 23 May 2010

Warm Weather

Well, I suppose everyone is aware it has been really hot. We have made sure all the birds have access to baths and fresh water all the time. The main problem with the heat are the flies, bluebottles in particular. We have to be super effective when cleaning out, the little blighters can detect the smallest amount of food. Before you know where you are, you have maggots. Touch-wood, we are always on top of the cleaning, I can't remember the last time any unwelcome little guests were found in any of the bird accommodation.

Orla always enjoys a bath. She was like a little kid the other day. She would stand on the grass, jump in the bath, run through, and jump out the other side. When she is serious, she washes her rear end first, then each shoulder, ducking her head in between times. The water ends up everywhere. She has taken to gardening, spiking the grass with her talons.

Teigan is still the same. I keep checking her closely every day.

We had a reasonable weekend, could have been busier. I suspect everyone was out at the loch side, enjoying picnics and barbeques. Here's hoping for a busy bank holiday weekend.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Here we go again !!

If any of you saw our spot on STV's "The Hour", you will remember the focus was on the illegal killing of Birds of Prey. In the last week alone, there appears to have been two major poisoning incidents. If you follow this link, you will read more. Bird of Prey Killings .

It sickens me that the ignorant and uneducated in this country give themselves the right to play God over other occupants of the world we live in. The infamous RSPB don't seem to be able to do anything about it, the police forces seem to pay it lip service, and the public in general, are not aware what goes on. Don't get me wrong, the wardens and men and women on the front line of the RSPB are dedicated and hard working. The heirarchy on the other hand, seem only intent on walking the politically correct path. The organisation may not be toothless yet, however the teeth are definitely well worn. It seems more and more members are losing heart and deserting. Instead of advocating the benefits of building wind farms to slaughter large birds of prey, they should focus on the reasons they were conceived, and get back to basics.

We had our "Visit Scotland" audit today. It seems to have gone ok, we will soon find out when the report comes in. It is interesting that we can never be more than a three star visitor attraction, this is due to "no cafeteria", and "no public toilets". However, a large establishment like Blair Drummond Safari Park, is only a three star visitor attraction. We must be doing something right.

Teigan, the Indian Eagle Owl is still alert and active, however, the mass in her abdomen appears larger. I check her every day, to make sure she is not suffering. I just hope I know her well enough to recognise when to stop her suffering.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Not a good day

Teigan, our female Indian Eagle Owl, was sitting on her knees this morning. Not content, I lifted her and gave her the "once over". Her brood patch is bald anyway, but there was something else there, small lumps and what looked like a swollen abdomen. I made an appointment with the vet and took her in this afternoon. Sad to say, the lumps are tumours, and there is a mass in her stomach. Devastating is not the word. The advice from the vet is to let her be just now, she seems bright enough otherwise. We have to watch her closely, any sign of distress, I will take her in for the inevitable conclusion. We have no idea how long she has, it could be months. It is not a period I am looking forward to.

Small problem in comparison. A poor day with visitors, and to cap it all, we were passed a fake £20 note, Bank of England. Not a lot of money I know, half of the days takings though. So, a trip to the police station after we closed, they will send the note to the Met. in London for further investigation. I must get one of those pens.

Monday, 3 May 2010

A busy day

Bank Holiday Monday, I could do with them every day. Today was our busiest day ever for visitors. By comparison to other larger Bird of Prey & Falconry Centres, our expectations are fairly modest, I hope today was an indicator of how the rest of the year will be. I attended a Youth Project in Helensburgh, over 200 kids registered, a busy little afternoon. The show of Owls went down well, Mozart being the star of the show, again.

On Saturday we were at Neilston Agricultural Show. It is always good to go back to a venue and get feedback. We saw a lot of people who attended last year and wanted to come to the show to see the birds again. The weather was disappointing, windy, cold, and occassional showers. It was a busy day though, with crowds at our display most of the day. Orla dropped a primary feather from her left wing, adjacent to the feather she lost in October (which is growing in), so she has a gap.

There are feathers everywhere. Moulting is well under way. I might get lucky and manage to keep Coco flying. It seems that he draws the short straw every year, Rolf being the lucky one who gets to moult at the normal time. Coco will have to wait until August again.

Not long now until we release the wild Buzzards. If the weather and food supply keep improving, they should go in the next few weeks.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Health & Hormones

This time of year always amazes me. Between the moult and the breeding season starting, it is fascinating to watch the change in the attitude of the birds. Oscar, the Barn owl, has become vocal, as usual. Aggro, the Red-tailed Hawk, has started playing with the knot on her leash, again. Orla, the Golden Eagle, has started getting jealous, and wants attention all the time. Kalinka, the Ferruginous Eagle, also wants attention, and has started showing her aggressive side. She caught me just below the eye with her beak on Sunday, it could have been an awful lot worse.

On the other hand, medically, everyone is improving. Luca, the Steppe Eagle, had a bad case of bumblefoot, an infection in the feet caused by him standing on a sharp branch stub on his perch, not just one foot, both. Both feet have improved a lot in the last week, so much so, I have removed the bandage from his left foot. Bernie, the Tawny Owl, had a set-to with a wild Tawny on the roof of his aviary, the wild one caught his foot through the mesh and left a nasty scrape. That has completely healed, I had to check the medical notes to make sure I was looking at the correct foot, which was the right one, by the way.

The two wild buzzards are moulting well, almost finished and ready for training. That will ensure they are fit for release. Ben, the "wild retained", Long-eared Owl, had his routine maintenance the other day. We have to trim his beak regularly to make sure it doesn't twist the upper mandible. He is the Owl that was brought in five years ago with a broken beak. Sabre, the Goshawk, has had her beak trimmed too. The beak was lop-sided when we got her, gradually, we have managed to trim it back to almost the correct shape.

There are feathers flying, (pardon the pun), all over the place. Looks like we will have few flying birds during the summer. So far, fingers crossed, Orla has not started moulting.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Improving weather ?

Well, the weather has improved. Though the forecast for the end of the weekend doesn't look good. Visitor numbers are slowly catching up on last year, thank goodness, it has been a very, very, long winter. Unfortunately, even when visitors don't turn up, the bills do.

This has been a frustrating, yet rewarding week. I found out, that due to some idiot in the EU administration miscalling Indian Eagle Owls, (The scientific name is Bubo bengalensis, the idiot called them Bubo bubo bengalensis. Because Bubo bubo is a European Eagle Owl, the Indian has been read as a sub-species of the European Eagle Owl). How bloody stupid is that. They come from totally different continents. Because of this, "Animal Health", (DEFRA), are required to have all the Indian Eagle Owls used for commercial purposes in Britain, registered. Typical EU stupidity. Needless to say, I have had to submit my applications already, just to stay legal.

The rewards came from the birds in rehab. The one-eyed Tawny Owl has been moved into an aviary. Already he is managing to fly from perch to perch, eat all his food, and perch quite happily. The buzzard that was shot has also been moved to an aviary. He too is managing to fly up to high perches. This is encouraging, as I wasn't sure if the new flesh and feathers in his wing were stable enough. The long-term inmate, (the other buzzard), has almost finished moulting, he looks great, new primary wing feathers and a new tail. Looks like it could be a double release. Finges crossed for them both.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

This Weather

What a day ! Heavy rain, strong winds, just miserable. Not one brave soul ventured our way. A quick hand clean and removal of leftover food, and that was it. We ended up with pools of water on the paths, quite deep in places, luckily, the new sand is deep enough to prevent the water rising into the weathering pens.

We were due at Lomond Shores today, I cancelled that. I don't think the birds would have enjoyed it, me even less. Hopefully the weather will improve before Thursday, when we are due back there. The forecast says warmer, better weather for the end of the week. Excuse me, I have heard it all before. Someone should go and give those climate change experts a good slap. The only true thing about climate change and global warming is that it gives some green energy companies a licence to print money. There is a huge difference between the need for conservation of natural habitat, and, this almighty bandwagon called "Global Warming". Maybe if politicians realised the natural cycle of the earth and climate lasts thousands of years, not just their term in office, there would be less panic. And, by the way, cleanest fuel of them all, nuclear power.

Enough of the political rant. We have a Hawk Walk booked in tomorrow, ground will be sodden, might be dry with no wind, I hope. That is the food finished. I can only hope the truck is on schedule for tomorrow morning.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Easter Weekend

Easter already, again. It doesn't seem a year since the last one. Today was a good day. We had a Hawk Walk for two, they certainly enjoyed the experience. And quite a few visitors. Yesterday, we had a family visit, who were very complimentary about the centre. "The best one I have seen". It brought a lump to my throat, I think people recognise the passion that we have for the birds, and the standard of care they get. It is very rewarding when we get comments like that.

The pens are looking much better with the fresh sand in them. The spare pen has been painted on the inside, it looks better, albeit, see-through paint, with the wood pattern showing. It actually looks very good. I got the van washed as well, badly needed. Now that the sun is appearing on a regular basis, and the frost seems to be receeding, we can get the birds bathed on a more regular basis. Some of them love it, some tolerate the water, and some hate it , those are the ones that get a shower.

Here's hoping the weather holds and encourages visitors to come in. This is the official start to our season, and gives us a good idea of how the year will go. Fingers crossed, after such a dismal Autumn and Winter, I think we all need a spell of good weather. The birds need it too. We can now select the birds we will fly through the summer, although, it looks like a small number due to the start of the moult. So far, Orla is still intact feather-wise, and looks as if she will be one of the summer flying birds.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Smart outlook.

Let me start by saying a huge "thank you" to Anne and Elaine at "Hawkshead" at Lomond Shores. They have kitted us out with our new uniforms. The Hawkshead logo looks appropriate. So, we can all wear the same colours when we are on display. The boys will not be allowed to wear any new stuff when they are cleaning out, or, I will get them to clean out Aggro, while she is in the pen. Ross has made a start on putting the new sand into the weathering pens. This is the first chance we have had, considering all the bad weather and frozen ground. We will wait a few weeks yet before we tackle the painting of the centre.

By the way, the illustration of a Kestrel is supposed to be used to identify the male. The only way anyone would see this view, is from above, really clever, eh ?

I actually caught sight of one of the wild Tawny Owls at the centre last night. I didn't get back until around 9pm. When I was opening the gate to leave, I heard it calling, then right above me, there it was, just about 4 feet above my head. Proves who the culprit is when it comes to knocking the owl ornaments off the fence posts at night.

We have carried out six education visits over the last ten days, it is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do. The expression on the face of a young child when they see an owl really close for the first time, priceless. And, despite all the facts about European Eagle Owls, power, ferocity, size etc., the kids always want to meet Mozart. Right enough, he is one of the most laid-back owls I know, and is never phased by all the attention and touching. He is the bird that all the kids want to hug.

Hopefully we are due some better weather. It is about time. No one wants to venture far when it is windy, wet, and cold. Here's to Spring, and the clocks going forward.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Green Energy ??

Time for another rant. Having had a very interesting conversation about wind turbines this afternoon, I decided to do a bit of research. And some rather frightening and puzzling things came to light.

First, locally. It seems there is a large tract of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park which has been designated as suitable for wind farm development. This is puzzling, especially as the founder of National Parks did so with a view of restricting development in order to conserve the habitat of that particular area for generations to come. I just wonder, in these modern times, what gives government funded organisations the right to sacrifice their moral and ethical obligations for what appears to be, commercial gain.

Second, nationally. It seems the R.S.P.B. lack direction and clarity in their decision making. At one point, not many years ago, they were vehemently opposed to wind farm development. However, over the past few years, this has changed. In fact, a 180 degree turn. They now support wind farm development, saying renewable energy sources must be used to combat climate change. They qualify this by stating wind farms must be located where bird populations are not affected. Maybe if the R.S.P.B. were more effective, and less political, there would fewer members disillusioned. They are the nationally recognised body we all rely on to look after the interests of our wild birds, and as such, they should shoulder that responsibility. There are dozens of studies and reports showing the damage to birds by turbines. There are studies and reports showing how inefficient wind turbines are.

There are far less damaging ways of harnessing the elements to provide energy. Or, providing the means to reduce the amount of energy required. The only ones who are gaining from this bandwagon, are those involved in the supply of the equipment, and those being subsidised to run it. I wonder. With so much money at stake, what lengths will the parties concerned go to, to ensure these projects go ahead.

Something which may have a bearing on the above. Why are the studies to establish Golden Eagle populations only concerned with the number of breeding pairs ? The last census, in 2003 by the R.S.P.B., established just over 420 breeding pairs in Britain. So, where are the others ? A Golden Eagle does not reach maturity until at least four years old. it may not pair up and breed until 5, 6, or 7 years of age. If we assume breeding success of 60%, 420 pairs, offspring start to breed at 5 years of age. The calculations say that there are well over 1,000 Golden Eagles unaccounted for. That is more than the total of breeding birds. Can the R.S.P.B. tell us where they are ?

The consequence of the above is. Golden Eagle territories are mapped based on breeding pair population. If wind farm development is allowed in areas where there is no recognised Golden Eagle population, i.e. breeding pairs, they may be allowing development in areas where the population is actually greater, but only juvenile birds. Kill them with turbine blades, and you kill the future.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Sport Relief

Having watched some of the tragic stories on "Sport Relief". I have decided that we should do our little bit to help. So, tomorrow, 20th March, half of all the money taken by the Bird of Prey Centre, will be donated to Sport Relief.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Making a point.

We had a great time at STV on Friday night on "The Hour". Young Ross did really well, and the birds were very well behaved. Michelle and Stephen made us very welcome, and put us at ease. The whole point of the appearance was to provide a bit of visual aid to the news of the submission of a petition to the Scottish Parliament by the R.S.P.B., asking for stronger punishment for those found guilty of crimes against Birds of Prey.

There are a few mindless morons who will inflict harm on animals and birds, just to see the suffering, or for spite. Those individuals usually use direct means, rifles, or air-guns. There are those who perceive Birds of Prey as a threat to their livelihood, or responsible for demise of animals or birds in their care. Those individuals are the ones likely to use poisoning

That said, we have to put things in perspective. Unfortunately, our justice system is non-existent, for any crime. There are no longer any deterrents in place. The penalties available to the authorities for wildlife crime, are, up to six months in jail, and fines up to £5,000. To my knowledge, no one has ever been jailed. The fines are minimal, or, community service. If you start at the top with the most horrific crimes, and work down to the bottom and wildlife crime, (I say the bottom, because that is where it is). Then you look at the punishment allotted to each crime, the authorities have nothing left to dish out at the bottom. If the Scottish Parliament decided to jump on the bandwagon, and instruct the authorities to impose severe penalties, it would be viewed as rediculous.

An example. An individual, found guilty of deliberately poisoning a Buzzard, is expelled from the Gamekeepers' Association, fined £1,000, and jailed for 3 months. Justified ? On the other hand, a parent sees their child knocked down and killed by a speeding driver losing control of his car. Punishment, the driver loses their licence, is fined £1,000, and jailed for 3 months. What does that parent think ?

So, why doesn't the Scottish Parliament start at the bottom, apply the penalties, and work to the top. Then, we might have sufficient deterrents in place to reduce all crime. Life for murder would mean life, the rest of their natural.

Enough of a rant, enough said, but how many will read this, and will it make any difference ?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

As seen on TV

What a surprise this morning. I got a phone call from STV, asking if I would like to appear on their show, "The Hour", on Friday evening. It seems the producer visited the centre at the weekend with his family, and was very impressed. The recent submission of a petition by the RSPB to the Scottish Parliament has been on the news and in the papers. So, as a way of highlighting the plight of Birds of Prey, the team have come up with the idea of having birds in the studio, and explaining persecution etc. What an honour, I might stop shaking after we are finished.

This cold weather is still playing havoc with the water supply and cleaning. The ground in the aviaries and weathering pens is still frozen solid, except where the sun shines for a few hours. This means, the opportunity to clean has to be taken when available.

The condition of both wild Buzzards continues to improve daily. Both are growing new feathers, as I said before, we can only hope the feathers on the wing of the shot Buzzard have a strong enough hold to develop properly.

I can't wait for some decent weather. There is so much to do. The more I think of what needs to be done, the more I think we need twenty four hours of daylight each day.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Horrible Weather

What a horrible two days it has been. Wet slushy snow, very cold wind, just miserable. Well at least we could get things done inside. The hospital birds were cleaned out, and the hospital disinfected, not that this doesn't happen regularly, just that we can take our time.

The really good news is that the Buzzard with the wounded wing is progressing well. Primary feathers are starting to grow, as well as covert feathers. I just hope the flesh is strong enough to hold them. His wing is starting to look like a wing again, full of "stuble".

I have commented before about how much whiter a Buzzard's underwing appears when there is snow on the ground. I had a real good view today, one of the resident wild Buzzards flew over the centre, riding on the wind. It seemed to take ages to glide over, and I was standing directly underneath, up to my ankles in slush, and dodging huge snowflakes.

The centre now has 43 fans on "Facebook". Not bad considering it has only been on a few weeks.

I just hope we get a break with this weather. No one wants to venture out when it is like this. Luckily, we have had a few education visits to keep the pennies coming in. Never mind, it will soon be Spring ?

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Rewarding Day

Days like this make it all worthwhile. This morning we had a visit from the Kilpatrick School for Children with Special Needs. Although some were wheelchair bound, it was such a good feeling to see their reaction to meeting the birds, especially when they got to see the small owls up close, and were able to touch them. We even persuaded one of the carers to get closer than she wanted, it was worth it in the end. It was a good start to the day.

Coco, the Harris' Hawk, was on duty again on a Hawk Walk. It started cold and overcast, then cleared up to be a pleasant day. Very enjoyable being out in the fresh air in such great countryside. Coco was going like a rocket, as usual. He always lets you know if you are taking too long, we got the odd nudge on the head from his wing.

The "On-Line Shop" has proved to be worth the time taken to set it up. Now, bookings for activities can be made and paid for, instantly. On a few occassions in the past, we have taken bookings in good faith, only to be disappointed when the party does not turn up. This is even more frustrating if we have turned down other parties for that day.

The Education visits are proving very popular. Another two bookings in today for a nursery and a primary school. These are good fun, not only for the kids, but for me and the birds. Again, it is the expression on the faces of the youngsters when they see a real live owl.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The Soggy Eagle

I came across this photograph today. It was taken last September at Ross Priory on Loch Lomond, the same day we saw an Osprey flying across the loch about thirty yards away.

I have referred to this photograph as "The Patriotic Eagle".

Back to the present. Another frosty start, frozen pipes for a few hours, eventually we got quite a bit of cleaning done. And again, the girls did the dusting in the office.

The Centre is gaining new friends and fans through "Facebook". We already have a few followers on the Blog, now we are gaining many new "Fans" around the world. The number of visits to the web site is another encouraging sign, if we can translate a fraction of those into visitors to the Centre, we should be ok.

Enquiries are coming in for the Gala Day and Agricultural Show season. If all goes well, it should be a busy time.

A word on volunteering. We are always keen to hear from people wishing to volunteer at the centre. Our policy is one of encouraging those interested in bird welfare, or in falconry. The idea behind the volunteer system is one of providing education to those wishing to learn about Birds of Prey, and to illustrate to potential falconers, the amount of knowledge, time, and dedication required, to own and fly a Bird of Prey. In return for providing their time, the volunteers receive instruction and experience, while working with the birds. Many volunteers turn up on the first day, expecting to be handling birds within a few hours. Think again. The first thing volunteers learn is how to clean out properly and disinfect. If they are keen, they will stick with it.

It has been a while

I have been nagged. I have neglected to keep up to date on the blog. I know it has been a while since I last posted. Anyway.

We have had a few visits to Lomond Shores over the last few weeks, as usual, I am always surprised with the reaction of people to our birds. Some know a little about Owls and Birds of Prey, a few know quite a bit, the majority know very little. It pleases me when they depart having been enlightened and educated. The reaction of the kids always brings a smile to my face. The expressions when they are touching an owl, it is like a completely new world to them. Even the parents are caught up in the sense of excitement, (I have caught a few of them out, their mouths wide with amazement when they touch a Barn Owl's head). Then, there is the sight of a Golden Eagle. Few people have seen a Golden Eagle, even fewer have stood right beside one. Orla's size, attitude, and approachability, seem to amaze everyone.

Now is the time to decide which birds are moulting this year, and which ones will fly through the summer. Decisions, decisions. In saying that, there are some birds who are in serious need of new feathers, and some that need a rest.

Talking of moulting, the wild Buzzard taken in last May is moulting well. His feet have healed completely, his wing is now perfect, and the broken feathers litter the bottom of his aviary. Hopefully, another eight to ten weeks will see him released. The Buzzard with the gunshot wound is really improving. The skin and flesh on his wing look really healthy. His wing feathers are growing in, the muscles are functional, the bones are strong and healthy. The wound has healed, and there is no sign of infection. We can only hope there is enough healthy skin and flesh to allow the feathers to be effective when they grow in.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Time Flies

It doesn't seem that long since I wrote the last news. A lot has happened since then. Firstly, our pipes have thawed out, without any bursts, and we have managed to get some serious cleaning done. Unfortunately, the thawing ice has showed just how much work is required to make the bird accommodation waterproof. We carried out repairs to the weathering pens, securing the door retaining boards.

We have attended a few schools and establishments with our education visits and displays, I keep saying how rewarding it is to get such good feedback, and see how much the public enjoy meeting and learning about the birds. As well as being out and about, we have had two birthday parties at the centre, both went down well, and the kids loved being so close to the owls.

Sadly, the wild Buzzard with the damaged eye had to be put to sleep. An infection in his chest was causing breathing problems which steadily became worse. Despite the best attention of ourselves and the vet, the only humane thing to do was to end his discomfort.

I am looking forward to longer hours of daylight, and warmer weather. There is so much to be done to get the centre looking it's best, and to get the birds in the best of condition. Tons of sand, and gallons of paint, together with lots of branches and wood. New flags, bow perches to refurbish, hospital to paint, classroom to fit out, it all adds up to a very busy year ahead.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Tropical Day

What a change in the temperature. It must have been a few degrees above freezing today, it seemed like the tropics. I didn't even need a jacket. With the "warmer" weather, I managed to get quite a lot done. I hand cleaned almost all of the birds, aviaries and weathering pens. Although, the frozen ground makes it impossible to lift all of the mess as it is solid. All of the hospital birds were cleaned out, treated, and medicine dispensed. The bins were emptied, skip tidied, and food readied for tomorrow. The weathering pen doors were off for about four hours today, until the snow started again. We had about two inches last night, no idea if we will get any tonight.

Jinty, the Saker falcon, went on a complete strop. She's been really calm lately, however, she just didn't want me in the pen today, and decided to try and fly over me, catching the side of my face in the process. Just a small scar, it could have been a lot worse.

Everybody seems to help the garden birds during cold weather, no one seems to care about the Birds of Prey. I don't suppose the public are willing to leave the odd half rabbit, mouse, hamster or vole lying out in their back garden ? In weather like this, they are really suffering, becoming more desperate. They are taking greater risks to get food, especially what little road kill there is. This is leading to more and more becoming the victim of collisions with cars.

We participated in a teacher conference at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow on Thursday. The "Leonardo Effect", how to integrate Art and Science into the curriculum, demonstrating the synergy between the two subjects. The conference used "Flight" as the introductory phase, using Leonardo Di Vinci's obsession with flying to illustrate how he used Art and Science to further his ideas. The principal of the project is to make learning more enjoyable, and to allow the children to use their creative skills to learn more.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cold Weather

This is us into our fourth week without running water, and our third week of constant sub-zero temperatures. It is very difficult to do any serious cleaning as the ground is solid, and there is always a danger of the water causing the pen doors, perches, and walls, to freeze. We can't even give the birds a bath. The paths and entrance way are covered in frozen snow, we have to be careful when the few visitors we have come in.

We have pushed the weight of the birds up as the weather is so cold, so, no flying just now. It gives us a chance to get other things done, like making leather and leashes, and catching up on paperwork and documentation.

The hospital is full just now so a lot of care and attention being given to the patients. One shot Buzzard, one Buzzard that had badly infected feet and damaged wing, one Buzzard we picked up last week with a damaged eye caused by a collision with a car, not too serious though, he should go back next week, weather permitting. The Tawny Owl that lost an eye, and the Sparrowhawk with the broken wing will both be adopted by us, they are on antibiotics to ensure infection doesn't set in.

I was gobsmacked this afternoon. We normally have three wild Buzzards flying around or over the centre. This afternoon, one of them landed on one of the flagpoles, right above the Golden Eagle, luckily she didn't see it. As if that wasn't enough, I witnessed three Buzzards attacking each other, presumably the resident pair and an intruder. I couldn't believe how aggressive they were. They are obviously suffering because of the weather, with very little to eat.