Saturday July 17th 2010
It’s been a hectic week. When I came in on Tuesday after my days off, I had to hit the ground running. I.T.V. were here at Muncaster, and they were filming for the new series of ‘Lakes’ which is due for broadcast early in the new year. Not only were they filming, but much of their filming schedule centred on the ‘World Owl Trust’. It also seems, that after exploring the possibilities in previous weeks; they wanted to focus on myself as one of the main characters at the World Owl Trust. This meant that when I came into work on Tuesday morning, I found myself on my way to a secret location with Andy and Hilary, where we were releasing the ex-wild orphaned Barn Owlet. The idea being, that Hilary would put the owlet in the nest site with a wild ‘foster family’, and I would narrate for the camera. The ‘omens’ for the release were good. The orphan was joining a brood of three owlets. This was an ideal brood size, as owls have only limited ability to count. They can distinguish between 1-2 or 3, i.e., two’s company, three is a crowd. After that it gets very ‘hazy’ for them. So, picture the scene; Three owlets plus one sneaking in while mum and dad are away. The owlets in the nest site were obviously not too enamoured at being disturbed in this way, and the orphan was non too pleased at being pushed towards this ‘hissing mass of angry young owls’. Hilary stayed long enough the check the orphan wasn’t being attacked, and also long enough for all four owlets to transfer their outrage to Hilary, and thereby forget the reason why they were outraged in the first place! You can imagine mum and dad getting back and feeding their brood, thinking; ‘there’s something not quite right about this. Blimey. They’re eating a lot!’ The nearby habitat is brilliant for them, so there shouldn’t be a problem in getting the extra food. Fingers crossed!
The narration side of things was easy enough, except that every time I opened my mouth, the rest of the world joined in either ‘crashing and banging’, or with the sounds of chainsaws and police sirens. The filming will continue over the next few weeks, so I will keep you informed.
‘Metro’ the Barn Owlet in the meantime is coming along nicely. I will include, (yet another) few photos of him at the end of this blog*. This way you can observe his physical development over the weeks, and see how quickly he will grow.
This week saw the arrival of our new computers. These were purchased with the funds raised by the sponsored walk, and even in the first few days it has improved the working environment in the office no end. There is much more space in the office now, as there are no individual hard drives on the desks anymore, and consequently there isn’t the ‘hum’ associated with them. Apparently there is a ‘collective’ hard drive comprising of two ‘terra bites’, which sounds quite ‘Jungian’ to me. There’s a more detailed report on this on the sponsored walk page.
The breeding season continues to throw up the odd surprise. In the last couple of days we have discovered we have discovered a newly hatched Long-eared Owlet in the Laybourne, as well as the confirmation of a juvenile White-faced Owlet in the Owl Garden.
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|World Owl Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1107529
Limited Company Number: 5296745
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.