Saturday, 23 April 2016

Aviary at Virginia Lake

A great memory I have from my childhood is a family holiday driving through the North Island one summer. We packed up the van and drove from town to town, stopping in places that looked interesting to explore and staying until we ran out of things to do. As a family of bird lovers, we often ended up at lakes or parks with aviaries where we'd feed as many birds as we could and play with the ones we could get close to.

One aviary that stands out in my mind is at Virginia Lake in Whanganui. We loved walking through this open air aviary and would stand there for ages, searching for all the different breeds and leaning in as close as we could to the cheeky birds that would casually step back when approached by a human.

This weekend, my dad and I drove through Whanganui on our way to a wananga in New Plymouth. We couldn't resist taking a quick rest stop and leg stretch at Virginia Lake for old time's sake. I looked for the aviary but it seemed like it was no longer next to the car park like I'd remembered ... until we spotted it on the other side of the car park just as we were driving off. We quickly turned around and headed back in to a cacophony of birds dive bombing and racing around the aviary, enjoying breakfast and chattering in the sunshine.

Here's who we met on Friday morning. Hopefully we'll have time to stop in again on our way home on Monday for another happy dose of nostalgia.

A cheeky acrobat
A proud parrot
An outdoor shower
This fantail has some tidying up to
I still don't understand guinea fowl

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