Zoo Trip #59: Marwell Zoo (Thursday 8th Sept 2016)
Thursday was a very busy day, beginning with a diabetic review at the local surgery. When I booked I was offered a private waiting area as Reception had finally noticed on my medical records that I suffer an extreme aversion to noise, so I arrived considerably less stressed than on previous occasions. Unfortunately, they didn't have the promised room available and there were several young families in the communal waiting area. I would have been forced to leave (as has happened before) had the nurse not been ready to see me straight away. The results of the tests were all good: glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure all where they should be.
From there I set off hoping to see the new leopard cubs at Marwell Wildlife in the afternoon. This gave me time to detour to Tisbury, in South Wiltshire, because I wanted to see a tithe barn that is currently being converted to an arts centre, due to open in a month or so. It was thick with builders but looked impressive nonetheless. It is said to be the largest tithe barn in England (not the longest) and I shall probably visit it again after the opening. As I left I saw a pair of red kites in the sky.
From there my route to Marwell took me across many untravelled roads through pretty Wiltshire and Hampshire villages and beautiful landscapes. I also drove through Salisbury city centre rather than skirting around it, reaching Marwell via Romsey and Otterbourne.
I am basically a cat person so the majority of my time was spent with the cheetahs, leopards and tigers (the snow leopards were all hiding in their dens), though of course I took in plenty of other enclosures. Both the leopard and tiger paddocks were heavily populated with photographers all hoping to see the cubs but the animals weren't really playing fair, mostly out of view.
When I reached the leopard area one of them was sunbathing on a high-up ledge but all one could see were a few spots and an overhanging tail, and similarly the tiger cubs were in the long grass near to Mum, some way away from the viewing area, and my attempts at shots were mostly rubbish.
I did return to the Amur leopards at the end of the day, when I knew they would be more active, but time was short, because with the start of the new term the visiting hours were significantly curtailed, but I did manage this shot of one of the three cubs. Kaia gave birth to them on 25 June and they first ventured into the outside on 31 August. Kaia and her partner Akin had previously bred Kanika in 2014, I think their first time as parents.
I got back to the car at 1715 and drove up the A34 to Newbury, intending to get a coffee there but actually went on to Marlborough to get one. I took my coffee to the Waterfront and as I was talking to a couple who were asking about the water voles we saw a brilliantly blue kingfisher flash past. The visiting cat Mooshka was there again.
I drove back from there into the spectacular sunset, Silbury Hill silhouetted in the foreground, and the Wedding Present playing live on the car radio from Marc Riley's show. It's rather peculiar and thrilling to hear a band who are at that same moment in a studio in Stockport performing what I'm hearing coming through the car speakers. I got home exhausted at 2000 hr.
P.S. Looks slightly soft on Blip (taken through glass and heavily cropped), but marginally better in Large.
10.9.2016 (1954 hr)
Blip #1923 (#2173 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #002
LOTD #1158 (#1282 including archived blips)
Taken with Pentax K-1 and Pentax HD P-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR lens
Marwell Wildlife, 8 September 2016 (Flickr album)(Work in progress)
Zoo Trip series
Marwell Wildlife series
Lozarithm of the Day:
Prince Buster - Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) (1968)
Prince Buster (Wiki link) RIP (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016)
Written in 1949 and recorded by Guy Lombardo, this revival by Prince Buster in a ska arrangement led to the Specials' recording on their second album.
One year ago:
Caen Hill Locks