6 January 2013

Extinct in the wild

Spent a relaxing day at London Zoo with the RAW Baker and the Non-stop Birder, wandering around the exhibits, admiring the Victorian architecture and imagining what it must have been like during the Victorian collecting golden age, bringing back exotic animals and plants to London.

2 Socorro Dove Zenaida graysoni in the Blackburn Pavilion were the captive list highlights. Socorro Dove became extinct in the wild in 1972 due to predation by cats and degradation of it's highland forest habitat by sheep on the Mexican island of Socorro, and now exists only in a few zoos where a captive population is maintained in the hope that birds might be reintroduced to Socorro once the cats and sheep have been eradicated.

Socorro Dove Zenaida graysoni, one of only about 100 pure bred birds
remaining in captivity

Can I tick it? Nope!

Bali Starling Leucopsar rothschildi, Victoria Crowned-pigeon Goura victoria, Mindanao Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba crinigera, Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida, Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata, Sunbittern Eurypyga helias and Amazilia Hummingbird Amazilia amazilia were amongst the other exotics seen.

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida. It was darn dark in the Blackburn Pavilion, as the
noise on this images is testament to.

The Blackburn Pavilion was built 1883 and originally opened as a reptile house

Classic Victorian scene in the Blackburn Pavilion. Those were the days!

Spent some time in the butterfly house where Asian swallowtails Papilio lowi and Tree Nymphs Idea leuconoe were amongst the butterflies flying.

A huge Atlas moth Attacus atlas caterpillar

Tree Nymph Idea leuconoe

A Peregrine over the zoo and several Goldcrest near the entrance were the best of the wild birds seen and the day was topped off with some superb sushi and noodles at the Hare and Tortoise in Putney.

1 comment:

  1. That Hooded Pitta photo brought back memories Lee - Taman Negara, Malaysia, March 1994. Cracking bird...