Saturday February 20th 2010
It has been another week of cold and frosty weather. This has also been ‘Half Term Week’, when we have done ‘Meet The Birds’ in the Owl Garden. This is usually a good time to get the flying team acclimatized to audiences again, even if they are not yet able to perform their full flying duties.
What has been significantly different, are the photographs we are taking of members of the audience posing with a Barn owl on the glove. We have now moved into the digital age!
We are using digital cameras and printers, and the quality is amazing. The printed pictures are ‘postcard’ format, and the cameras are 10 megapixel Canons, so are top notch. We are still getting to grips with this new technology though, but we hope to establish a working system before too long. By the time the season starts properly, we should be fully familiarized. Some other offers this year, are some adoptions for certain individuals on our flying team, such as ‘Mortimer’ the Common Buzzard, who only has one adopter, (a rockband called ‘Buzzard’), and who is in need of friends. To be a co-adopter costs only £10 - per year. Also, we are once again offering discounts on our memberships, if you join whilst here on a visit to Muncaster. A single membership can be had for £15, and a family membership can be had for £20. As I have mentioned before, we can’t do any of this without your support.
I forgot to mention last week that both Andy, (our new chief), and myself were on the radio again. This time it was BBC Radio Cumbria, on the Liz Rhodes programme around the noon slot on Tuesday the 9th of February 2010. This time we took ‘Sparky’ the Barn Owl, who was, (of course), a real star! In fact it was probably Liz Rhodes who was the most starstruck! We had to drive up to Carlisle, and I was fervently praying that BBC Radio Cumbria wasn’t in the middle of a roundabout, and that once there, we would find somebody on reception! I needn’t have worried, everything went smooth as silk this time. The contributions for the interview were supplied by both Andy and myself this time; Andy mentioned a few fascinating snippets on how owls have been regarded by various cultures throughout history. The whole performance was done in a relaxed and professional manner, no doubt because ‘Sparky’ as our illustrious leader, ‘radiated’ confidence, which must have ‘filtered’ down to us mere mortals. At the end, Liz Rhodes took some photos of Sparky being held by Andy, which apparently can be seen on ‘Twitter’. We got back to Muncaster at 2 pm, and Sparky found himself back in his aviary, probably scratching his head, saying to himself; ‘I’ve just had the strangest dream. I could have sworn I was on the radio this morning!’
At the centre meanwhile, we have been tidying things up a bit, as various projects during the off-season have come to an end. I have a few more nestboxes to make next week, and then, fingers crossed, we are ready for whatever the breeding season throws at us.
In the office this week, there has been the delicate aroma of ‘old drains’, as Hilary our conservation officer, Andy and David, ably assisted by Graham Smith, one of our trustees, have been digging out the ‘Dragonfly Pond’, which was in real danger of silting up. This is all part of the ongoing plan to improve wildlife habitat on our own doorstep. At the end of the day, I made the mistake of complementing Graham on his appearance, where after he promptly ‘bearhugged’ me, and thereby immediately brought me into line with current ‘Owl Centre’ office fashions.
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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.