During my recent day out to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, I crossed paths with a few animals of the feathered variety. Birds are wonderful photographic subjects. They often have gorgeous plumage (a la the Norwegian Blue of Monty Python fame) and some have bags of character. Some occasionally stay still long enough to photograph. The park has a wide range of bird life including water fowl, birds of prey and exotic birds. I didn't take photos of many as they were either too active, too shy or the enclosure wire was too intrusive for a decent shot.
The Macaw (above) was sat on his tree in the walled garden with his mate. Macaws can live for up to 60 years and mate for life and this pair has been at the park for some time. They obviously know it is their home as their tree is set out in the open with no netting to stop them leaving. I think it is nice that they choose to stay and they obviously enjoy human company. As I snapped one or two pictures of him, the macaw in the photo happily posed and squawked hello at me. It was only polite to reply but after that the conversation became a little limited, never really moving pass the greeting phase.
As the park is set in several acres of woodland, meadow, ponds and gardens there are many ducks, swans and geese that visit and are free to stay and leave as they wish. There are also several stately looking peacocks mixed in with these and roaming free. They pop in and out of enclosures as they wish (except for the large carnivores which are more enclosed!) and the one in the photo above was enjoying the early spring sun while sat in the enclosure reserved for the capybara who didn't seem to mind sharing at all.
I reached the penguin enclosure just in time for feeding (the penguins, not me). The park has Humbolt penguins from areas of south America, and the sight of these little birds waddling excitedly over their pebble beach to claim their fishy prize always makes me smile. They are so comical! Their keeper also threw some fish into the water and they came into their own swooping gracefully through the water to catch the fish. Some of the penguins took up station next to the keeper and demanded to be fed, looking up at her with hungry stares. Their patience was soon rewarded as she hand fed them and they all clamoured for the proffered food, managing to convey disappointment when the bucket was finally empty.
Their appetites (mostly) sated they went back to their penguin business and I wandered on. After all their was still the big cats to see. Photos of them coming soon!