Sunday, 7 October 2007

BIRDSaPLENTY exhibition, Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust

Our Exhibition opened on Thursday night. I spent all afternoon in the kitchen making crostinis and nibbly things. The night before my 10 year old niece and I made cheese pastry and she cut duck shaped biscuits out and Voila! Cheese ducks! We went down to the art centre to set up about an hour before and I started to get nervous that no-one would turn up. BUT fifteen minutes later the place was packed! And we began to make sales. I was so pleased because we are donating a percentage of sales to Rosemary Tully at Whakatane Bird Rescue for the building of some new aviaries. Oh, and also I can pay my rent! We had such a fantastic evening and we have had steady sales every day since with another six days to go.

This is the last painting I did for the exhibition of a pair of dotterels.

About mid-day today we decided at the last minute to visit Wingspan Raptor centre in Rotorua where we joined up. Our yearly membership gives us free
entry which is great value. We were extremely spoiled and given V.I.P. treatment - allowed in the nursery to see two newly hatched falcon chicks less
than two days old! We watched
Debbie and another lady feed them tiny pieces of meat, mimicking the parents noise to encourage them to open their mouths for food. Not that they really needed encouraging, one in particular was fair squealing for his lunch! There was also one more egg in the incubator waiting to hatch. Its wonderful to see these birds in such good hands.

At two pm the flying display started with "Aussie" a male falcon putting on a great arial display that included high speed diving and sumersaults while chasing a lure. Then I got to put on a leather glove and Debbie placed some food on it. Aussie flew in and landed and I got to see him up close and personal! That was such a buzz! Next up was 42, named after the the meaning of life in "Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy." She was a large female with pristine plumage and again I was priveledged enough to have her land on me. Troy held her also after she landed on his head at one stage!
We both got some great photos, I really must paint one or perhaps they might make a good pastel drawing. All in all it was a brilliant day and I'll look forward to following the progress of the new babies.

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