When I started writing this blog I decided that I would only use photographs taken on the day the blog was written. I have literally thousands of photos from the Bioparc so, in this way, I was able to challenge myself to find something new each time. This gave the additional challenge of making it difficult to plan what to include in advance, as I do not know what will make the best photos to support my writings. This morning, as I set off for the Bioparc I was hoping to get some good shots of the bird show to be able to share, and then see what else was happening. My first visit was to the Lion enclosure to see if the Lion cub had stopped limping. As is the way with animals, today they would not co-operate, and no matter how many times I returned the two cubs would just lay and relax in the sun.
Ebo, the baby gorilla was 1 year old on Saturday so it was fitting that I was able to get close enough to take some photos of him and his dad, Mambi. I am not keen on this area of the Bioparc as they have created a glass viewing gallery for the public to watch the two sets of gorillas. Unfortunately this usually means that it is full of noisy hoards, many of them ignoring the signs and snapping away with flash photography, or tapping on the windows to get the gorillas attention. There is often keepers around who stop this but they cannot be there all day and I am often left disappointed by the attitude of some members of the public. The quality of these photos are not as good as I would like but they were taken at a distance through glass. Ebo is quite a character, playing like a small child but with an old mans head on!
The bird show started at 1300 and takes place in a large amphitheatre that seats 1000 people, although I have never seen it full. I knew where I wanted to sit and got there a little early to be sure of the right place, in the shade! The introduction and safety announcements are in Spanish and English but the running commentary is only in Spanish, this is a shame for the non Spanish-speaking tourists as they miss a lot of useful information about the birds and animals on show, I can’t help thinking that even a typed sheet of information would add to their enjoyment.
We are led to imagine that the show starts at nighttime as a Tawny Eagle Owl flies in and lands on a perch in the crowd, this is followed by three Porcupines running through the arena.
The African Fish Eagle makes a spectacular entrance as it swoops into the water to “catch” its prey. This is my favourite creature in the whole parc and the excitement obviously got to me as these photos are not the best I have taken. A fine display of vultures then follows, some of these often maligned creatures are on the endangered list and need to be appreciated for their graceful flight and magnificence. Hooded, White Headed (vulnerable), Griffon and White Backed (endangered) Vultures were on display today.
The final spectacular is a flying display by three Marabou Stork. These are massive birds standing to a height of 152 cm (60 in) with a weight of 9 kg (20 lb), and a wingspan of 3.7 m (12 ft) and make an impressive finale, even though they are not the prettiest birds when standing.
I am thinking of starting a separate category for photos that haven’t been used in the blogs written element, so you may find a poll to this effect in future blogs. Look out for my next weekly blog on Wednesday 6th November.