Yesterday was rather a wind swept day to say the least, not as bad as other parts of the country, but still strong enough to cause a few concerns.
High winds can sometimes be an issue for us here as those familiar with the park will know that we have close to a hundred tall trees around the park, not including those in the nature area. The trees, mostly Poplar, were originally planted for use as match sticks, but are now more decorative. However, with trees come branches and these can be a problem if they are falling. When it’s windy its best not to look at the trees as they really bend in the breeze. On occasion we have had to make the decision to close the park as one large branch coming down could cause a real problem if there are lots of members of the public about.
Yesterday, thankfully, was not one of those days. The park was open with more people in than at any other point during the week. However the strong winds did mean that we had to keep some of the larger birds in. Even though the Pelicans, Marabous, Flamingos and some of the parrots are clipped, a good gust is enough to see them up and out of their enclosures and ending up who knows where. One large branch came down safely in the Marabou pen and lots of small branches/twigs also came down, as you can see below
In park news from the past two weeks….
Wednesday saw the arrival of 13 new birds into the collection. 7 Avocets and a male Ross’ Goose arrived from Pensthorpe in Norfolk. 4 White Faced Whistling Duck (2 male, 2 female) came in from WWT Slimbridge and a male Tawny Frogmouth turned up from Cotswolds. All are species that we already keep and have been brought in to increase group size, or in the case of the Frogmouth, to pair with our female. As always all new birds will serve at least a week of quarantine before moving out into the park.
The female Marabou Stork was found last week with a broken left wing. She had been seen in full health at 2pm but was later found in the shed with the injury. Although she had been getting on well with the male and them being kept separately overnight, we suspect he may have attacked her. She was taken into the vets where the diagnosis was that the wing was too badly broken to be repaired so the decision was made for the wing to be amputated. The procedure took 3 hours and was successful, the bird returning to the park that evening.
She is now on an extensive course of antibiotics and is being kept separate from the male. We are checking her condition throughout the day and so far the wound is looking well, with some slight bruising as to be expected.
We took delivery of some more Madagascan Hissing Cockroach, taking the group up to 16. Some of these, along with a Chilean Rose Tarantula & 2 Giant African Land Snails have moved into the Discovery Zone to fill some empty tanks there.
In the nature reserve the birds are starting to take food from the feeding stations. Up to 70 Starlings are now roosting in and around the park and Fieldfare are starting to appear. We have also had sighting of a Mistle Thrush. With all the birds on the feeders come the predators and on one day last week we had Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and 3 Red Kite about.
There are still a few moths and ladybirds about and I saw a hedgehog on the drive to work this week!
Thanks for reading