Friday 16 March 2012

Sneaking just a little bit closer

Blackbrook Zoological Park!

What a frustrating place to live if you are a cat!

All that creeping, stalking, shadowing, waiting...

...and all those big wire mesh fences!

It's actually almost a month since Lisa and I visited Blackbrook. We'd never been before and the weather was not super-brilliant, but I'd got a voucher and we'd got the place practically to ourselves!

More than anything else, there were birds. These are Versicolour Teal, generally found in the southern third of South America (below Bolivia and Brazil). They are dabbling ducks; the kind that tip up to feed off the bottom of shallow water, amusing us all with a display of bottoms up!

The black necked swan is a rather larger waterfowl from the same part of the world, though confined closer to the southern tip of South America.

And I believe that this is a Black Bellied Whistling Duck, though I didn't hear it whistle. It also is from South America (we were obviously walking through the South America waterfowl section), living along the coasts.

I'm pleased to say that none of these birds were going to end up on the feline menu.
(In fact, there were other birds wandering freely, so I suspect that this sleek, well-fed moggie was all play and no pounce!)

More to come :)


  1. Fascinating place. Well photographed! What gorgeous birds!

  2. What beautiful birds especially the Versicolour Teal Ducks, The colors together are so beautiful.
    Isn't nature wonderful and interesting.
    I find the overcast days the best to take photos the diffused light is perfect for colors plus no glare.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Your water bird identification is good - mine is restricted to mallards I am afraid.

  4. I think my cat Arthur would agree with you ! He probably has never seen a duck either. Such nice photos !

  5. Blackbrook was under threat of closure this time last year but I'm glad to see that they seem to have survived for another season as it is such an interesting place to visit - look forward to seeing more photos of the birds and mammals:)

  6. What a beautiful selection of birds! :) Feel quite sorry for the cat.

  7. This was originally called 'Bird World' and it's only in the last few years they've been expanding and housing other animals. On our visit last year we had a chat with the staff and found out that part of their financial worries last year were caused by the tax people - Blackbrook filled in all the paperwork relating to gift aid tax returns which would have given £30,000 back to the zoo, but then the tax office lost the paperwork and told Blackbrook to resubmit everything but they couldn't resubmit before the deadline and so lost the money, which I think is appalling!

    It's always really quiet there in winter - except when they do their 'entry for £1' weekends! It's a good way of getting people in when it would ordinarily be empty :)

    Look forward to seeing more

  8. Hi Louise, I agree that that is absolutely appalling!! The tax office should have given them more time as it was their fault in the first place. People had given those gifts expecting the tax to be donated (and probably factoring that into the amount they gave!). Disgusting x-(

    It was almost empty the Monday we went, but the Sunday had been sunny and was apparently packed.

  9. Think puss would come off second best if s/he did more than look from a safe distance.

  10. That is actually my cat - Bruno. I'm on the board at the zoo and lived their for a year working on both the park and in the office. I can safely say, Bruno never attacked any of the larger birds - He was our resident rat catcher.

    He's currently living with my self and my girlfriend

    1. My friend is a cat lover and was very taken with Bruno. Unfortunately, I am allergic, so have to admire from a distance.

      I didn't really believe that he was trying to catch any of the birds. I think the post shows that my comments were tongue in cheek :)