Wednesday 8th May 2013
I haven’t seen Rupert the Red Kite since last week. I hope he’s alright. You never know with these things. He was last seen flying above the Owl Centre on the 30th of April. We hope he’ll be back soon.
We have heard a few more owlets since last week as well. Owlet noises were heard in the Northern Hawk Owls in the Main Display while the female was out of the box. The female Tengmalm’s Owl in the Breeding Ground is also out of the box, but they are still taking extra food, which is a good sign. We also managed to get a good view of the Brown Wood Owlet in the Breeding Ground for the first time on Saturday. Terry Evison got some really good photos of him/her, which I have included at the end of this blog.
I had the privilege of conducting a ‘Walk on the Wild side’ walk on Saturday the 4th of May. These are scheduled guided walks around the grounds which are free to any visitors interested in nature and wild life. They are advertised for 12 noon, and take place on holiday weekends. The next ones will be during the spring bank holiday week, commencing on the 25th of May. The walks will be conducted by Millie Clarke, with me covering for Millie’s days off. I only had two customers on Saturday, but they seemed to be very satisfied. It was a bit difficult, as most wild flowers have been late in coming out this year. For that reason, I started to talk about some related subjects, such as naturalised garden escapes. There are quite a few of these species now growing in Britain, notably 'Ground Elder', (Aegopodium podagrania). This was in fact introduced to Britain by the Romans, and was widely cultivated as a food plant until the middle ages. These days it is more likely regarded as a garden nuisance. One of the only wild flowers which were making a fine display was the common Dandelion, another much maligned species which has many culinary and medicinal uses. I can’t help but think that as the economic down turn continues to bite, that maybe we should open our eyes to what is around us, and embrace nature and what it has to offer us rather than spending hard earned money on buying the latest weed killer.
See you next week
P.S. I have just seen Rupert alive and well, flying above the owl garden.
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