Date: 10 August 2011
Location: The Crags, near Plettenberg Bay
Walkers/Birdwatchers: Vanessa, Dorothy & Helen
Birds of Eden is the largest free flight aviary in the world.
This was my second visit to Birds of Eden. We went early on a weekday morning and it was a good choice. It is a very popular place and in my opinion so much nicer when there are fewer people and no over-excited school kids around!
The place is so cleverly designed that you are hardly aware that you are in an enclosed space. The net is very far above, held up by tall girders, with many tall trees in the forest below.
The raised wooden walkways take you right through the forest, and up into the canopy of the trees.
They were busy misting as we made our way along - it was so beautiful and atmospheric. It really felt like we were in a tropical rainforest!
Over 3500 birds live here at Birds of Eden and we saw plenty. I found taking photos of the birds a real challenge though as they do not sit still! And the light in the forest wasn't very good. With patience I am sure one could get excellent shots but today wasn't my day. I did snap the Asiatic pheasants though - they are truly spectacular!
The birds from the parrot family were also very colourful - and obliging. Many used to be pets and are still very tame and easily hop onto your shoulder if you let them.
It is very easy to overlook the less flashy birds, like this cutie-pie.
In the forest we also saw a duiker and a bat.
As we were leaving the forest we encountered the macaws. Huge birds!
In the waterlands area: white egrets and scarlet ibis.
The latter are truly strange creatures.
A folded flamingo.
Feeding time caused some excitement amongst the troops.
Although this dikkop was not fussed. Leave me, I'm snoozing.
The walkway takes one across a little lake...
... with white and black swans...
... to the exit. After a very enjoyable visit Mr Hornbill bid us farewell.