I’m definitely not complaining though, it makes the working day go very nicely indeed.
Today was a good day for getting more little bits done around the new site of the Scottish Owl Centre. The workmen continued to work on sealing the roof of the flying display building and adding more touches to the bridge over the pond. I was pleased to see that the Malay Fish Owl, who only moved in to the aviary beside the pond late yesterday, was pretty steady even though there was a lot of noise and work on the bridge in front of her pen. She is a really nice bird too, as a species they seem to be both nervous and nosey at the same time. We used to call them ‘neighbourhood watch’ at my last place of work. I hope our female here settles well. We hope to add another species of fish eating owl to the enclosure next door to her later in the year. They are fascinating creatures and I’m sure will prove to be popular with visitors.
Myself, I started out my day with cleaning as usual, then joined volunteer Stuart in building the new picnic tables. By the end of the day we had all eight done. It was nice work on a sunny day like today.
‘Owl School’ was an important part of the day again. The trained birds need to be ready for the public flying displays by this weekend so they need daily practice.
I enlisted the help of Stuart to fly Sarabi the Milky Eagle Owl, partly to enrich his university placement experience and partly to see if Sarabi would fly for people other than myself. She did and did very well. She was still a bit hesitant so needs to lose a bit more weight before the weekend.
Kenya the White Faced Owl was a popular member of the team in displays at the Scottish Owl Centre’s first home in Campbeltown so we have high hopes she will be a little star in the new arena too. Today she reached her target weight but wasn’t in the mood to fly. Everything is still strange and new for the little owl so she will need a few days of just sitting in the arena for a short while to get used to the new environment. She has a huge character for such a small owl so I’m really looking forward to flying her.
I flew Bruce the Boobook Owl for my first time this afternoon. He is a nice little character too and very entertaining to fly as well, especially when he decides to go off and do his own bit of exploring between the benches, then pops up somewhere new. He flew some full lengths of the arena, up to the high corner perch and down again. His routine ends with him flying ‘home’ into a carrying box if you leave the door open for him, and this was great fun for me as he just took to it straight away.
Finally I flew Lofty the Barn Owl. Just a couple of days ago he was really stroppy and aggressive when flown in the arena. He was over his target weight and he seems to be one of those birds that even a few grams makes a big difference to his behaviour. Today he was 291g so at his ideal weight. He flew like a dream, friendly and cooperative, willing to fly full lengths, short flights to the glove, up to the high perch in the corner and down the length of the arena again. Talk about Jekyl and Hyde! If he can keep some consistency with this behaviour he will make the team for the shows at the weekend.
So that’s it for my day for today, more of the same tomorrow? We shall see. Each day manages to bring something unexpected, which makes my job one of the best in the world!
‘Til tomorrow then, gnite!