Tuesday 18th June 2013
Lovely day today. The owlets are mostly all out, catching a few rays. Can’t say as I blame them.
One of the trustees had the idea to feed the resident Red Kites with a whole chicken. I put the chicken into their enclosure. The male sat on a stump, observing the chicken from a safe distance. I never actually saw either of them eating, but they must have, as eventually, after 2 days, the carcass was removed, and it was picked clean.
This sort of reminds me of previous 'food experiments' here at the centre. I remember a few years ago, it was mooted that we should try our larger birds with Guinea Pigs, (dead ones, humanely killed + defrosted from the freezer). Again, the owls and the kites would sort of look at you like you had 'two heads'. This wasn't one of the more successful experiments, as not a single bird even touched one of those guinea pigs. So, lo and behold, we removed the 'offending items', and were left with these 'defrosted' guinea pigs. What to do with them? "I know, let's feed them to the Buzzards at the heron feed!" On that day, it duly 'rained' chicks and guinea pigs from the heron feed bucket. Surely a wild Buzzard wouldn't be able to resist a nice 'juicy' guinea pig? As it happens, Peter Frost Pennington was going about his business, on the front lawn of the castle, minding his own business, when 'THUD!' this guinea pig fell from the heavens, narrowly missing his head on the way down! We found out about this, when there was an indignant knock on our office door. The door was opened, and Peter Frost Pennington wordlessly lifted the 'offending article' in the air. One can only wonder at the alternative scenario; Picnickers happily munching away, with their blanket spread across the grass, and to suddenly be showered with this 'unexpected manna from heaven'.
Don't worry, this was an isolated occurrence, and isn't likely to happen again. On your visit to Muncaster, you may, at worst, come across the 'Lord of the Manor' walking his pigs, or maybe a bearded eccentric waving dead chickens in the air, trying to attract Red Kites.
See you next week
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