It’s a while since I had the time to write a news letter for the web site. I apologise, there is nothing worse than an out of date web site. Well that is not actually true, I can think of a few things, however!

We are about 2/3 of the way through an appalling winter, mostly it was rain, rain and more rain. Although we are not liable to being flooded ourselves, as we are about 300 feet elevation and so it really would be high water, nevertheless, we have been surrounded by flooding for months. The ground is totally saturated, the paths are mostly in the field, rather than where they should be and it is miserable. I thank heavens that we built totally roofed over aviaries, so while we trot around in the wet, the birds at least are dry and comfortable, if not very cheerful.

Be that as it may we are still here, the breeding season is upon us and we open up to the public again in a few days. I leave the country the day before we open, good planning that! We have cleaned aviaries, scrubbed nest ledges, put in new perches, built nests and generally given the birds homes their yearly winter clean. I don’t think the birds really appreciate it, but we do and we should look nice and tidy for opening, if a little damp.

It has been well nigh impossible to fly the young birds regularly unless they were related to ducks. However we have a reasonable good young team coming on, with a couple showing signs of being very good indeed. We are just about to get out some of the older birds in time to work on demonstration. I am leaving most of the birds I fly personally, until I get back. I am looking forward to flying my old Lanner who had last summer off to have a decent moult. I have missed her flying and her vile temper!

As yet we don’t know if we will have the Japanese contract again this year. We are hoping we do, but will survive if we don’t. I find having staff and bird away from home quite stressful. I think I must have been a chicken in another life, I like them all under my wing!

The funds for the memorial window to be put in the local church to commemorate Phillip Glasier, my father, are rising slowly. I just booked the designer and I will put the design on the webpage when it is done. If anyone feels they would like to contribute to the window we have about a third of the funds required. Cheques can be made out to the Memorial Window Fund and send here.

Our first baby hatched today (23 Jan 2001) – a Bengal Eagle Owl- oopps its called an Indian Eagle Owl now. In fact I am about to go out and give him or her a midnight feed. We have more eggs about to hatch and two African Fish Eagles as well. I am hoping for a good breeding season this year. I am crossing my fingers for the Eleonora’s falcons – we now have a male as well as a female, which should help enormously!

The daffodils are coming up as are the snowdrops which are late. I felled all the poplar trees and now have hundreds of logs, I hope they burn better when they are seasoned, right now they are anti logs – they put the fire out with impressive speed.

I really don’t have that much news for you. We have put some more information on the site and we just got another award for excellence. I can thoroughly recommend my webmaster John Leith if you need someone to build and run a website for you. The Centre won an award for services to bird breeding and conservation – Heroes of Gloucester – which was nice.

Lily is leaving us and going to live in the US with Arthur Middleton who was with us here for a year. We will miss her (she is a labrador!!) but she will be happier with Arthur, she misses him. The box to take her would fit a small donkey not a dwarf Labrador with 9 inch legs. We have parties in there at the moment!

I am looking forward to going to The South Carolina Center for Birds of Prey next week, mainly because I am tired of being wet and frozen.

Happy spring to all of us.

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