This weeks blog is a catch up of the last two weeks going on in the park.
We’ve had quite a bit of media exposure over the fortnight and with the Summer Holidays upon us, that can only be a good thing.
The first bit of coverage appeared last week in the national papers. We were in the Daily Mail, Telegraph & Express with how we were keeping the penguins cool during the heat wave. Photos included Spike under the sprinkler & Syd sitting on a block of ice. I’m pretty sure none of our birds made it on to page 3 thankfully!
Then on Monday this week we made it into the Mail Online with a story and photos of how we are teaching our Black Necked Swan cygnets to swim. Chris was snapped using a cuddly swan toy to encourage the cygnets into their paddling pool. We were amazed to then see one of the cygnets clamber on to the back of the toy to get out of the water, exactly what it would be doing if the cygnets were still with Mum & Dad.
This story also made the Metro and on Wednesday I did a live interview on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire about the young swans. We’ve even had interest as far afield as Germany!
We’ve also had more coverage of Helen & her Chaco Owl in the Cotswold Journal. The Owl, still to be named, is now undergoing flying school and is doing really well. Helen has been flying the bird most days at Meet a Keeper. We have had the feather sexing results back and we known that the bird is a female.
Our next media spotlight may well be about our Grey Peacock Pheasants. As I’m typing away I’m awaiting a photographer from the Gloucestershire Echo who is going to take some pics of our Grey Peacock Pheasants. Yesterday (Thursday) the pair produced 2 eggs, their first as a pair & our first for 4 years. I mentioned this on twitter and within 2 hours had the Echo on the phone! The eggs have been removed for incubation as the male has a history of breaking eggs although these 2 were fine. Any further eggs we will leave with the birds to see what happens.
In other news:
The sexing results are also in for 9 other birds, our 2 Humboldts from Dudley are a male & female and have been christened Arthur & Molly in continuation of the Harry Potter theme. Both birds are currently moulting along with Hagrid & Ron and do look rather fat & scruffy
Our alleged pair of Masked Plovers have proven to be 2 male (hence no eggs!) whilst a ‘male’ Green Imperial Pigeon is actually a female. Our first Emerald Dove chick is female, whilst our 2 juvenile Bartlett’s Doves are both male as is last years Tawny Frogmouth.
We have 3 fledged Java Sparrows in the finch aviary and several nests with eggs from the Zebra & Bengalese Finches and hopefully the Pekin Robins. It very hard to tell whose nest is whose what with 80+ small birds flying around. The Splendid Parakeets nest can be spotted though as they are in the largest box in the aviary, with at least 4 eggs at present.
Our Red Fronted Macaws also have eggs for the first time in a couple of years. These guys are regular breeders and previous chicks have departed to France & Holland as part of the breeding programme.
The Burrowing Owls have 4 eggs at present. This may be last chance saloon for the male as all previous clutches have been no good and we have a new male waiting in the wings. If we do swap the males the original bird will be moved on to another collection where with another female he may prove successful.
In the old Toucan House both the Bartlett’s Dove & Roul Roul Partridges are back on eggs. As their chicks from earlier in the year gain independence the parents are happy to settle down again and we have 1 Dove egg & 6 partridge eggs at present. The Southern Lapwings in the glass house are starting to become extremely vocal and agitated when approached and there are signs of a nest scrape being made, watch this space.
We have removed eggs from both the Stanley & White Naped Cranes in the past few days. The White Napes were well overdue and the eggs were no good & the Stanley Crane has no partner so no point in incubating.
We also have Tawny Frogmouth eggs again, lets hope for better luck this time after they broke their last egg.
The 2 African Spoonbill eggs in the incubator are looking promising and will hopefully hatch in the next week or so. The female is looking much better and can hopefully go back in the aviary soon.
The female Marabou has been allowed out for the first time. As she has never encountered a river before we are allowing her lots of time to get used to the environment by shutting the male off show for now. She has been in the water a couple of times but only for 10 seconds at a time! Next week we will slowly introduce the male, for short periods to start then building up slowly.
The Greater Flamingos continue to frustrate with lots of display and time spent on the island but no signs of eggs as yet.
Robs Kookaburra chick is now fully feathered. The bird has been moved to a larger pen in preparation for fledging and its appetite is now dropping, as expected at this time. Regular pellets are being produced and the bird is starting to find its voice.
Already in full voice are the Macaw & Amazon chicks. Both birds are feathering up, the Amazon particularly so, and are calling throughout the day for food & attention. The Macaw, nicknamed Monty, joined me on a trip to Cotswold Hobourne Holiday Park on Sunday to hand out leaflets to their guests.
We have taken delivery of some Indian Stick Insect eggs which Chris is incubating – apparently they could hatch at any point over the next year! Watch this space.
Spike the King Penguin hit 2000 likes on facebook over the last few days
We will be running a Royal based quiz trail around the park as from Monday in celebration of the Royal birth. The winner gets to come and feed our own King (Penguins!)
And finally our first e-news letter was launched this week, you can sign up for all the latest news from our website
Thank as always for reading & see you next week