Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Birds

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!

16 comments:

Karen said...

Back again today, Bob-kat. Your photos are simply spectacular! Really top-notch! Thanks for sharing a bit of nature. Hope all is well.

Michele sent me back your way!

kenju said...

I haven't been to a place like that for a long time, and I need to remedy that. I love the peacock's blue colors!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm sooo envious. I want to go there with you. Or without you. I just want to go and explore it all.

Who, me? Got some spring fever? Nah...

Surcie said...

Great photos. You're making me want to go to the zoo!

Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Bob-Kat...THESE ARE WONDERFUL! Such beauty's! The colors...Amazing...And Those dear sweet Penquins. I LOVE Pemguins and always have...There is some very cdomical about them, and something very touching, too. A Vulnerability that touches my heart! Thanks Sooo Much For This!

I look forwarc to The Cats, of course!

I wish I had been able to go visit this amazingly beautiful park when I was in The Cotswolds....!

Little Miss Muffet said...

wow..i have really missed the blogging world and especially your blog...your pics are awesome!

Melody said...

Terrific photos BK. You captured you're feathered subjects excellently.

I'll always remember my venture to the Edinburgh Zoo in 1997 to view the King and Emperor Penguins there. That was back in the day before digital so I took like 2 rolls at the time, of the penguins. Now, if I went back, I would certain I'd take 100's. So, how many did you actually take??

craziequeen said...

I like the birds, but the penguins are some of my favourite beasties - they look so dense, but are really raher bright.

Paington Zoo has a little penguin who never wins the food, so he gets handfed while the others go beserk.... :-)

I smiled at your comment on my blog - Martin (and sometimes Chris) doesn't mind being hung regularly, he jokes it does his back the world of good!

cq

rashbre said...

Stunning pictures again. The top one is particularly striking and I like the depth of field to really pull the parrot from the background. Good bokeh as they say.

You are reminding me what a brilliant source of pix a zoo can be!

And I'm here this time, seeing your bright pictures whilst looking at grey rain, via Michele's! Hiya!

rashbre

Karen said...

Well, here I am again, Bob-kat! Seems like I'm always jumping in right behind you at Michele's. Hope you're having a great day!

Carmi said...

I hope to someday get to visit a zoo - any zoo - with you. I like how you capture vignettes of these gorgeous animals' lives, and I suspect capturing pictures of them in situ would be a very different experience as a result.

I'm so glad you successfully hit your project milestone, and you're moving smoothly into What Comes Next.

Dianne said...

I love penguins! Last time I visited Boston I want to their aquarium, wonderful penguin enclosure with really knowledgeable people. You can get real close, one of the penguins winked at me, or so I like to imagine.

great photos!

Gwynne said...

Penguins are always good for a laugh and a tear or two. So comical in their antics and so loyal in their duties! Wonderful photos!!

Sol said...

I love the pictures.. I love birds too. I'm here from Michele's.. wonderful photography!

Shephard said...

Who doesn't love watching penguins. :) More great shots. I love the macaw and peacock colors. So vivid.
We went to the zoo this weekend, but our zoo enclosures make it very difficult to get photos with a lot of meshy fences.
~S :)

moon said...

OMG what awesome photos! this post and last...thanks so much for sharing them with us. I would love to see some wildlife up close ...its been forever it seems since I have been to a place like that to explore.