Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Blackbrook Zoo

Blackbrook Zoo is a well established collection of interesting birds and mammals.  It is located off the A523 to the South East of Leek.  They are making some changes this winter, rebuilding the Reptile House and refurbishing some of the compounds.  During this restriction, the entry fee has been dropped to 99p per person for December and January.  There is a small cafe and some of the birds like the penguins and pelicans have a set feeding time.
The "Nay-nay" has always been a favourite of mine.  This is the Hawaiian goose and there are more of these birds in captivity than in the wild.
I am always thrilled to see a secretary bird with their unusual crowned head feathers.  These are specialist snake hunters from Africa.
Penguins are always of interest as they are such unusual birds in this hemisphere of the Planet.  These ones have a specially constructed compound with a viewing platform that allows you to overlook them and also observe them under water.
The snowy owls are a recent addition to the collection.  They are a fine pair of birds with the most engaging eye contact.
Ring tailed lemurs are active most of the time and always give a good display.  The other lemurs in the collection tend to stay indoors in cold weather.
No zoo is complete without meercats these days.  These little mongoose like creatures are always interesting to observe.  Over the last 2 years, the zoo has rationalised its animal collection to make it interesting and economical to manage.  They still have a very fine collection  of extremely rare species from around the world. This is a good visit and it will take more than 2 hours to walk around the enclosures.  Add a feeding observation and a visit to the cafe and you have a very engaging half days visit.

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