Tuesday, 6 April 2010

An antidote to LBJs

During a holiday weekend otherwise spent looking for little brown jobs (it keeps the shoes clean) we paid a visit to the Rare Species Conservation Centre near Sandwich. I'd passed the place many times, and thought we should go, to see what it has to offer.
One thing it offers is colour, with a Victoria Crowned Pigeon and a Bali Starling in the first enclosure. There may have been pairs, but singletons were all we saw.
And you can't get much more colourful than flamingos, although I feared for the future of a Madagascar Teal that shared the pool, which might start glowing pink if it eats the same food as the leggy ones.
The 'Centre' is on a small site of less than two acres, but there's plenty to see, including two smooth-coated otters which gave the impression that it was nearly feeding time.
With such limited space there is, of course, the usual disturbing displacement behaviour, like big cats pacing their cage, but as most of the animals have been rescued in some way of another, one hopes that their lives are better than could have been.
The pair of gibbons swung energetically around their cage, but looked dismal when they rested, and the singing dogs (yes, really) were marooned on their rocks by the mud.
Anyway, back to the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, which spent much of its time booming on its lek (to mix species metaphors). It's a close relative of the Dodo, is trusting, slow, has great feathers and is good to eat. And consequently is endangered.
Play loud!


Greenie said...

Steve ,
If it hadn't been for the photos ,
a blue Pigeon 'booming on it's lek' and 'singing dogs' , would have had your readers thinking you had spent the whole holiday in the local hostelry !
Mind you , who'se to say you didn't ? and made the whole thing up .

Mary said...

What a funny bird that pigeon is....and the booming would only be attractive to another pigeon, I'm sure :-) Love that otter....such fun critters to watch.

Kingsdowner said...

Fred, a simple 'Great shots, Steve' would suffice. You seem to think that I enjoy a tipple, whichhhh of cursh issh far from the truthhhhh.

Mary, glad to have you back - I thought I'd lost you.