Tuesday 23rd April 2013
St George's Day has dawned fair in this part of our 'Sceptred Isle'. I just had to get that one out of my system. As if in celebration, we have had a good few sightings of this year's owlets, which is always exciting. As an added surprise, Terry and I discovered that 'Bert and Betty'; one of our resident pairs of Mackinder's Eagle Owls in fact have 2 owlets, as opposed to the more usual 1. The second owlet is a bit smaller than its sibling, but as we were watching them, it was comforting to see that the smallest one was getting fed. The key is to ensure they get plenty of food, that way the eldest can eat its fill, and still leave plenty for the youngest one. We sent 2 of our White-breasted Barn Owlets to a bird of prey collection, where they will be trained for display work. Also, this morning, our 2 Chaco Owlets have gone to a collection in North Wales.
There's been a little development with 'Rupert', the resident wild Red Kite here at Muncaster; somebody who was involved with the Grizedale release programme came to Muncaster, and was talking to Vicky. He said that this particular one looks like a male. (We'll have to take his word for that). He was saying that over the three years of releases, they were wing tagged a different colour for each year; blue, red and white. Vicky managed to take a picture this morning, and you can clearly see a wing tag, which is most definitely not red or blue.
'Meet the Birds' has settled down quite nicely now, and the birds have got back into their routine on the lawn. I was flying Mortimer the Buzzard, as I normally do, when I let Mort do her party piece of 'walking' along the front of the audience, like some 'malevolent chicken'. To help encourage her I throw some little chicken legs onto the lawn for her to pick up. I did my usual that day, and per chance, one of the chicken legs fell onto a long leaf of ornamental grass which must have been blown onto the lawn by all those strong winds we had. Mort accidently picked up this blade of grass as well, and proceeded to partly swallow the grass as well. Picture the scene; Mortimer is trudging along in front of the audience with this long piece of grass stuck out of her beak like some country yokel. This was quite comical, a fact that didn't escape our audience. As I got her back on the fist,(grass and all), I proceeded to slowly pull the grass from her mouth, which was mostly swallowed, and proved to be around 2 feet long, with exclamations of ‘Eoww’ coming from the audience.
I'll leave you with some of Terry's owlet and flower photos, as well as Vicky's Red Kite pics.
See you next week
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