Birdland Park and Gardens (Gloucestershire)
Member Name: MollyWH
Birdland Park and Gardens (Gloucestershire)
Advantages: Birds all look happy and healthy, nice enclosures, good value for money
Disadvantages: Not enough for a full day out
For Christmas, my boyfriend bought me a weekend away in the Cotswold for me, my boyfriend and our two dogs. We actually stayed there last weekend. While we were there, we visited various attractions, one of them being Birdland Park and Gardens.
Birdland Park and Gardens is located in Bourton-on-the-Water which is an extremely picturesque town and the perfect location for this attraction. We parked in a pay and display car park which was about a 10 minute walk away from the entrance to Birdland, although we later found out that there is actually a car park right next door to Birdland itself so parking really shouldn't be an issue.
Birdland has seasonal opening times. It is open from 10am until 6pm from April until October and then opens from 10am until 4pm between November and March. Last admission is one hour before closing.
There are various ticket options which are as follows:
Adult - £5.25
Children - £3.25 (ages 4-14, under 4's go free)
OAP's - £4.25
Family - £15.50 (2 adult and 2 children)
I thought the prices were very reasonable as some other similar attractions charge anything up to £20 per adult.
Inside, the park is very scenic and is a pleasure to stroll around. Obviously, I can not remember every single bird that I saw at Birdland but I will tell you about the main attractions and the birds that I do remember.
Near to the entrance, where you pay for your tickets, there is a parrot aviary which consisted of two Macaw Parrots who had an indoor area which you could not see into, and a large outdoor aviary that had lots of wooden perches for them to climb over and lots of toys for them to play with. We were lucky enough that both of the parrots were in the outdoor area, so we got to see them and they both looked happy and healthy. Just past this aviary is another one which is slightly smaller. In here, there was an African Grey Parrot who again, looked very healthy.
When you enter the main park, the first thing you will see is the Penguin enclosure. Birdland is the only place in England that keeps King Penguins. As well as the King Penguins, there are also Humbold Penguins. I realty enjoyed the penguin section. We were lucky, as when we arrived, they were just beginning feeding time in the penguin section. This involved one of the keepers giving a very informative talk on the penguins and all the visitors were able to watch them being fed and interacting with the keeper.
The penguin enclosure was large and consisted of lots of rocks for them to walk over and also a swimming area. The swimming area had a see through front so you were actually able to see the penguins swimming under the water which was a lovely experience. Also in the enclosure was a shower which ran all the time and the penguin were actually queuing up and taking it in turn to stand underneath the shower.
While the keeper was giving his talk, the area did become quite crowded with people but there was still plenty of room for everyone to get a good view of the enclosure. There were rocks stacked upon each other outside the enclosure which visitors can climb on top of to get a better view of the enclosure. I thought this was a really good idea as it enabled children and small people like me a really good view.
There was also an owl section which I enjoyed because I find owls fascinating to watch. At Birdland you can see Eagle Owls, Snowy Owl and Hawk Owls to name a few. My absolute favourite from the owl section was the Burrowing Owl which was really small and looked really scrawny with long legs, I have been to many zoo's and parks like this but have never seen this type of Owl before so it was nice to see something that was totally new to me. All the enclosures for the owls were large, clean and very natural with trees growing inside the enclosures and lots of branches and places for them to hide away.
There were various Storks, Pelicans and Waterfowl around Birdland. These birds had large areas to live in, with some of the area being free flying, meaning that the birds can move around into other areas of the park. There are lots of rivers and streams that run through Birdland and these have been incorporated into some of the enclosures which allow the birds a natural habitat. You can see Flamingos, Pelicans, Storks and Ducks to name a few. There is a medium sized lake in the middle of Birdland and in here there were loads of rather large fish (which my boyfriend believes were Trout). Some of the fish were absolutely huge and you can easily see them swimming in the lake.
There are also a couple of Ostriches at Birdland and they had plenty of space with a large grassy area for them to scratch around in. We found that they were quite inquisitive and came over to you as you were stood to the side of the enclosure having a look.
There is a Desert House which is totally enclosed and inside it was really warm and dry. In here there were various birds which all live in naturally in a desert environment. Unfortunately I can not remember any of the names of the birds (although there were signs up inside the enclosure informing you of which bird was which). There is also a Tropical House which is about twice the size of the Desert House and in here are the birds that live in a tropical climate.
Last but not least, there was the Kookaburra who was probably my favourite bird we saw her. There was a sign on the side of the aviary informing visitors that if you growled or whistled at him, then he could do his call, which basically sounds like a loud cackle. We whistled at him and almost immediately he let out his call which I must admit sounds pretty funny and certainly gets the attention of anyone walking past.
There is a café at Birdland which is called the Penguin Café. It serves snack foods, as well as hot and cold drinks. We didn't eat in the café but we did take a quick look at the menu and saw that they sold lots of homemade items such as biscuits and cakes and they also served larger items such as filled jacket potatoes. Inside the café there were male, female and disabled toilets as well as a baby changing area.
There was also a children's play area which looked fairly new. There were two areas which consisted of climbing frames and swings etc.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Birdland if you are in the area. You would be pushed to spend a whole day at Birdland and you could lazily walk around here in probably around 3 hours but there are still plenty of different birds to be seen here.
The enclosures were all large and clean and you could tell that some effort had gone into each enclosure, trying to make it as close to the natural environment of the birds as possible.
On every enclosure there are information boards which visitors can read to find out more information about the birds you are seeing. The information boards told you things such as where the bird originates from and what it eats so I think this attraction is also quite educational.
Finally, another reason I liked this attraction, was because dogs are allowed in the park, although they must be kept on leads at all times.
Summary: Beautiful Birdland