It’s been a long time since our last post because there has been a lot happening at the park recently and not much time to catch up. Winter is traditionally a very busy time for us as we prepare the park and birds for the breeding season which normally starts at the beginning of September. I say usually because we have had more winter babies this year than ever before! As well as various Lorikeets, we have also welcomed 2 Barn Owl babies, 2 Marabou Stork chicks (1 of which sadly died at 4 days old), 2 Spotted thick-knee chicks, 2 Guira Cuckoo babies, 3 African Grey and 3 Senegal Parrot chicks amongst others. There are also many more birds sitting on eggs which are due to hatch any day now including our Mute Swans, Southern Ground Hornbills and a number of different parrot species. If this trend continues, it could be our best breeding season in many years.
As well as the new babies we have, there are also a number of new birds which have been donated to the park and have joined the collection. These include a Blue-headed Conure, 3 African Grey Parrots, 2 Sun Conures, a Wood Owl, 2 White-faced Owls and a Brown-headed Parrot. These birds will join our captive breeding programs in many cases, or, like the African Greys, be introduced to the communal flock which we do not breed from.
Visitors in the past 3 weeks have also seen a lot of construction on the go around the park. Our “Pheasant Corridor” which is the main pathway down to the show arena had a revamp on one side past year after the construction of the storm-water system destroyed some of the enclosures. We are now in the process of rebuilding the opposite side of the pathway which backs onto the Marsh Aviary. This has been a tricky project as the enclosures shared a wall with the marsh aviary so a temporary fence had to be erected in the aviary to allow us to demolish the enclosures safely and not have birds from the aviary escape.
These new enclosures will house a variety of Owls including Spotted Eagle-owls, Wood Owls, White-faced Owls and Barn Owls. There will also be a new enclosure for our African Harrier-hawks where the Barn Owls currently are. The Blue-wing and Laughing Kookaburras will also be moving alongside the owls in this newly revamped section. There are also plans to completely redevelop the Marsh Aviary and we are waiting for the materials to arrive to start this massive project. It will see the aviary almost doubling in size, have new ponds and pathways and also a natural reed-bed bio-filter for water purification. There will also be a number of new water loving birds introduced into this aviary.
We aim to have the new Pheasant Corridor enclosures completed by the end of October and the Marsh Aviary completed by the start of the Festive season (depending on arrival of materials). There are also a number of smaller projects underway behind the scenes which will be in place by the festive season so we hope to see you coming back and seeing all the changes by the end of the year. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience during this time and can assure you it will be well worth the inconvenience at the end of the day.
|Baby Barn Owls|
|Baby Marabou Stork|
|Mute Swan on her Nest|
|Pheasant Corridor Cages about to be demolished|
|Wire being removed|
|Poles and support structures gone|
|New poles in place|
|The cages on the left are what the enclosures on the right will look like once completed|
|Hazel our Pink-backed Pelican|
|The Scheepmaker's Crowned Pigeon being ambitious with nest building|
|iMvula our Southern Ground Hornbill watching us as we checked his nest|
|The baby Spotted Thick-knee is growing up quickly|
|White-faced Owls always look startled when having their picture taken|