Saturday 13th November 2010
We have had some ‘interesting’ weather again this week. You’d think we might be used to it, what with living in the UK at 54 degrees North, but we’re not. The Centre was flooded out again on Monday the 8th of November, just as badly as it had been the previous Thursday. Since then, we have had gale force winds. I’m happy to say we got off lightly. Just a few torn off bits of felt, and a corner of plastic sheeting. I was walking round the Centre, listening for the telltale ‘clunk’ of loose sheeting flapping in the wind, while I was down in the Breeding Ground, lo and behold, I heard a clunk coming from BG 17, home to ‘Bruce’ and ‘Nyalla’, one of our breeding pairs of Mackinder’s Eagle Owls. This is one of the aviaries which had metal sheeting attached to the roof, so it is with a degree of trepidation that I approached the aviary, wondering what the damage was going to be. I heard another ‘clunk’, and saw Bruce fly away from the shelter, and land on the feed table, from where he proceeded to look up at the shelter with eyes like saucers. I wondered what damage there could possibly be. Looking up I couldn’t see anything wrong until some movement caught my eye, something that didn’t go un noticed by Nyalla, who promptly scarpered to the furthest end of the aviary, from where, she too looked like she’d seen a ghost. Getting closer, the clunking continued, then the reason became apparent. On the nest shelf, bold as brass, was a grey squirrel foraging through the substrate, evidently not concerned by the fact that it was being watched by two ‘super’ predators. It saw me coming, and hopped onto the perch immediately next to Nyalla, ignoring her noisy protests, from where it shot me a baleful stare, before slipping through the chainlink mesh and disappearing over the garden wall.
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The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.