Zoo Trip #37: Marwell Wildlife
My monthly zoo trips came to something of a stop in 2012 after my last annual membership expired, especially when I discovered that reciprocal visits between other zoos had become severely limited to just one visit per year. Instead, my visits had concentrated on Slimbridge WWT and Arundel WWT, both of which include collections of birds and animals as well as providing ideal habitats for wildlife, and the Hawk Conservancy Trust. I have now joined Marwell Wildlife near Owslebury in Hampshire so hope to be visiting there and other zoos in the coming year.
This visit was somewhat mistimed as it turned out to be the last week of the summer holidays and although it was a weekday, the place was packed out, especially at the best viewing spots, and full of screamy over-indulged children.
Despite this, we had a mostly enjoyable visit, the stars of which were the snow leopards. There were two cubs I hadn't met before, probably about one year old, and we were lucky to catch both of them on their only visit out of their den that day, apparently, when they joined their mother, irina, and one of them groomed her back with its tongue. The father Indeever was also visible, but was separated by an internal division in the enclosure. I would have blipped a snow leopard picture, but I have done so on three previous occasions so decided not to.
We were hoping to see Kanika, a young Amur leopard cub born in June who had recently made her first public appearances, but although we saw two adult leopards, she stayed out of sight. The Amur tigers made an impressive sight, and there were a couple of new enclosures - one for the coatis and a walk-through aviary in which we saw at close quarters cattle egrets, hammerkops, weaver birds, black-winged stilts, glossy ibises, avocets and various other birds.
The giraffes were out and about but disaster almost struck when a camera dangling around my neck knocked slightly against the fence on a slope to the viewing platform and the lens hood snapped off and fell into the enclosure below. I had to get one of the keepers to go and retrieve it for me.
For blip, though, I have finally chosen these Somali wild asses, Jahzara and Falih, sheltering under the autumnal trees.
21.9.2014 (1840 hr)
Consecutive Blip #000
Marwell Wildlife, 28 August 2014 (Flickr album)
Lenses: Sigma 70-300mm, Pentax 17-70 mm
Zoo Trip series
Marwell Wildlife series
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Chuck Berry - Betty Jean (1960)
There are a few songs called Betty Jean (it means "God is my oath") but I think this is a Chuck Berry original. The composer credit reads 'E. Anderson', a known pseudonym for Chuck Berry. It comes from Rockin' At The Hop and features the vocal harmonies of the Ecuadors, recorded at the Chess studios in Chicago IL.
One year ago: Arundel Wetland Centre
- Pentax K-5