We have had a very busy week this week with the warm weather, recent publicity & a Bank Holiday to boot. Mondays Meet a Keeper saw at least 2 members of staff present from 11 through to 4.45 at the Encounter and at times, all 4 keepers and the work experience student were there, interacting with the public.
Being a warm day meant we could have a lot of the animals outside so we had a bird section, invertebrate corner & dragon desk all set up. All of our hand reared young birds from the past two years were present, including Eva, Cariad & Leia the Owls, Monty & Mango the parrots and our Tawny Frogmouth & Kookaburra. Gizmo the Bearded Dragon was enjoying the sunshine whilst the bugs may have been the most popular, with our Giant Thorny Stick Insects, Madagascan Hissing Cockroach & African Giant Snails all proving extremely popular.
A Roul Roul Partridge chick has hatched this week in our incubator. The adults, who reside in the Discovery Zone, keep destroying their eggs so this one was rescued and hatched after 18 days of incubation. In the past we have had a few problems rearing single partridge chicks but fortunately we have the 2 Grey Peacock Pheasant chicks who are not much bigger, so after 24 hours of recovering from hatching, the Roul Roul has been placed with the Pheasant chicks and is doing well. 4 more Partridge eggs have also gone in the incubator this week
Also in the incubator this week we have another Northern Helmeted Curassow egg. The female has done nothing for months so the nest box was removed last week and typically, she has decided to lay. The egg weighs in at 201 grams and should, if fertile, lose 15% of its weight during the 30 days of incubation
The Bartlett’s Dove have laid and broken an egg this week
The Red Fronted Macaw nest was checked again, only one chick is present but it is doing well
Mango, our hand reared Yellow Shouldered Amazon decided to fly up one of the trees by the play area on Wednesday. We are training him/her to be free flying but the bird gave itself a bit of a fright by getting so high. We had eyes on her all day but she was reluctant to come down to Chris with a lot of members of the public around. She eventually came to Chris, who has reared Mango, meeting him halfway with Chris climbing up a tree & Mango climbing down. No harm done.
Wildlife wise it has been ladies week with the first Painted Lady Butterfly and Old Lady Moth of the year. We have also had a couple of sightings of Speckled Wood (butterfly) & Lesser Swallow Prominent & possible Canary Shouldered Thorn moths.
A Toad was seen in the bottom part of the Penguin Enclosure.
Kingfisher again have been seen every day and we have fledgling Bullfinch, Blue Tit & Nuthatch in the Nature Area
Southern Hawker Dragonfly has also been around
That’s it for this week folks, just to warn you the next few weeks blogs may be pre-written with no weekly news as we are expecting the arrival of our first little chick at home