Canberra Walk-in Aviary

31 Jan

Gold Creek always feels a little like a tourist destination to me – not helped by me only really heading over there when I’ve got interstate friends visiting! Today we’re in Gold Creek to stock up on Frugii ice cream. I’ve fond memories of visiting the walk-in aviary with my parents as a brand new Canberran many years back, and, on discovering it’s still reasonably priced, drag my friend with me to relive the fun.

The entrance to the walk-in aviary is tucked away between buildings, but there are big signs indicating the way.

Can't really miss it

Can’t really miss it

In the small entrance, we pay the $11 charge per adult, and are given our complimentary cut up pieces of apple to feed the birds. Mealworms are supposed to be an extra price to purchase, but we’re handed a box regardless – as is everyone else.

There’s a sign at the front which says the birds might not be as active today because it’s hot. It’s just under 30 degrees, but it’s early afternoon, and it is warm.

We step into an area which is essentially “outside” – there’s a netted canopy, but it’s very high, and there’s plenty of room for the birds to fly around. Something we notice throughout our stay are the birds which are trying to get in!

Turtle dove (?) in the shade

Turtle dove (?) in the shade

There are many bushy shrubs and trees; while the birds aren’t particularly active, it’s actually quite fun seeing a few through the branches, and being able to spot some we haven’t yet seen as our time progresses.

Attempting to tempt the birds with apple

Attempting to tempt the birds with apple

Attempting to tempt the birds with mealworms!

Attempting to tempt the birds with mealworms!

A very sleepy parrot hiding amongst the branches

A very sleepy parrot hiding amongst the branches

Turtle doves doing their thing

Turtle doves doing their thing

 

In addition to it being a hot day, we’re competing with a lot of other families who each have their own plates of apple and containers of mealworms. I remember my last experience as one where we were there incredibly early, it was cooler, and fewer people were about: birds were all over us wanting the goodies we brought.

Eventually, we get some attention.

One-legged parrot knows he's onto a good thing

One-legged parrot knows he’s onto a good thing

And then…

New friends... with the help of apple

New friends… with the help of apple

Friendship = cemented

Friendship = cemented

In the meantime, I freak out because I’ve got a turtle dove jumping all over the mealworms container. (Parrots and turtle doves are a very small portion of the huge amount of birds, but they’re certainly the most active when it’s hot / when they’re probably not that hungry!)

All over it

All over it

138

Other, calmer (or fuller, hotter) birds look on.

140

Once our one-legged friend departs us, we try others… who happily accept our offering, but don’t want to make friends.

(and my SLR had died by this stage)

(and my SLR had died by this stage)

Whether it’s hot or not, many people or none, it’s still enjoyable, and there’s plenty to see – particularly if you take the time to look past the facade of the trees and in through the branches. I’m sad I wasn’t able to get better photos of the huge amount of birds on display. But, it’s a lesson that if you want active birds during summer, come in the early morning.

Date: Saturday, 25 January 2014

Where: Gold Creek, Canberra

Cost: $11 per adult; less for concession

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile, but better in early morning

Want more? Try the website for all the admission costs, and what else to expect.

 

 

 

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