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Wednesday 17th December, 2014

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Wulf’s Blog


Saturday 24th September 2011

It has been an eventful week in some respects. Our Conservation Officer; Hilary, is going on maternity leave. She is expecting twins. Good Luck! I have taken on a few of her engagements. starting with a talk on Wednesday the 21st of September. The talk was about the work of the World Owl Trust, and took place at the Civic Hall in Whitehaven.

I had to use ‘Power Point’, which involves a computer wired up to a projector. This sounds quite straight forward when you put it like that, but three computers later and a lot of head scratching, we still couldn’t get the computer to work. The W.I. at the Civic Hall was going to help me out. I made sure I got there a bit early to be prepared for any technical hitches. There was a very helpful gentleman who kindly loaned me his laptop and projector. Everything was straight forward during the setup. He told me to click on the screen every now and then to avoid the laptop from going into ‘hibernation mode’, where the screen ends up going blank. I dutifully did this. I had the WOT logo displayed on the projector screen.

2 o’clock came, and I commenced my talk. The turn out, I thought, was quite impressive especially as the weather was taking a turn for the worse. I introduced myself, and clicked to move to the 2nd slide, when the computer went ‘blip’, and the screen went black. It would appear the laptop had been running on its battery which had just gone dead. The computer needed its power cable. This was duly supplied but the laptop needed time to ‘recover’ after the shock of being shut down without ceremony.

It was suggested by members of the audience, who incidentally were taking notes, that in the meantime I could fill them in on my background; give them an insight into how I came to be involved with the World Owl Trust. It’s easy to forget that my involvement with the Trust came about due to circumstance rather than due to my CV. Anyway, I suppose this made for an ‘insightful’ 10 minutes, after which the ‘talk proper’ could commence.

By this time it was about 2.30pm; ‘Meet the Birds’ time; the weather was howling judging from the Civic hall windows. The talk lasted for just over 1 hour, and I’m happy to say I observed very few nodding heads, which means I had kept their attention. From the feedback I received, the talk had gone down quite well. At the very least, I had managed to stay dry, when everybody here at Muncaster had got soaked.

Back at Muncaster, we had one casualty; a juvenile Long-eared Owl in the Laybourne aviary in the ‘Main Display’ had had a fatal collision with one of the cross beams. This was unfortunate, but very hard to avoid.

Health and Safety legislation is a foreign concept to wildlife, and consequently there is a high percentage of mortality for any species during fledging in the wild. It is not unreasonable to presume some of that percentage may be reflected, (on a smaller scale), in our own collection.

The unfortunate individual has gone for a post mortem, just in case.

See you next week.

Head Keeper

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