Saturday July 10th 2010
I am currently writing the blog with ‘Metro’ the Barn Owlet chuntering away next to me. He is sitting on a towel in a little fruit basket. This appears to suit him well, as he is quite content to watch the world go by from the comfort of his ‘mobile home’. He has just ‘inhaled’ three mice, no doubt contributing to his good humour. He was also featured in a report by ‘Lookaround’, ITV’s regional news programme for the Border region. We are still awaiting the broadcast, which was no doubt rescheduled due to the happenings in Northumberland this week.
It has been a hectic week for television work here at the centre, as ‘The Lakes’ second series for ITV is also now being filmed here at Muncaster, and the World Owl Trust is going to feature in this series. The film crew is returning next week, and needless to say, ‘Metro’ is going to be quite high on the agenda.
We had two wild casualties handed in to us this week; an adult Barn Owl, and an adult Tawny Owl. Both of which, unfortunately, didn’t survive. Both birds received prompt veterinary attention, but neither made it through the night. Both had suffered trauma. The Barn Owl had flown into a climbing frame during the bad weather we experienced last week, and had internal injuries. The Tawny Owl had been discovered by a member of the public, and was suffering from ‘fly strike’, where flies lay eggs in open wounds, and then hatch into maggots. It is anybody’s guess how long this bird had been in distress before being discovered by this member of the public.
There have been some bird movements this week. David the collection manager and our keeper Vicky went to a private breeder in North Wales this week, and dropped off an aging pair of Burrowing Owls; our old pair of Ural Owls, as well as our surviving juvenile Snowy Owl. In return we received a young pair of Burrowing Owls which we put out in the Main Display.
On the flying team side of things, ‘Sparky’ the Barn Owl is in fine fettle now, and is ready to commence flying training again. I will report on his progress next week. He ‘popped’ into the office a minute ago on the arm of his handler Terry Evison. Metro and Sparky were ‘blissfully’ unaware of each other. Metro has just this minute awoken from a snooze, after ‘cogitating and digesting’ his brace of mice.
I will leave you with two pictures of Metro, one of him on the settee in my living room, and one of him in the office helping me to write this blog.
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