Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Quotes of the Week (the very first week of opening)

The Park opened on Saturday (27th March) and it has been cold and rainy all week ~ where is the much-needed sunshine?

We have six baby penguins that have hatched this week - three hatched on the day of opening! Ducklings are popping out of shells in the incubation house and joeys are peeking out of Mother Wallaby pouches! We have been given two tiny baby rabbits for our Pets Corner and all the Willow trees at the lower lake are coming into bloom. Spring is here and the Park looks beautiful we just need some sunny days....

Quotes of the week

"Wonderful day out. All staff fantastic! loved the Wallabies" Singleton Family - Warwickshire

A wonderful day even though it rained. It was fantastic to have such a perfect and personal display of all the animals" Peter & Andrea Hardy

"An excellent way to spend my 23rd birthday. Particularly enjoyed the Flamingos and Wallabies" Robert Hicks

"FANTASTIC!! Wonderful staff, gorgeous animals and a brilliant day out! Beware the ducks!"

Sparrowhawk preys on feral pigeon at the Park - caught on camera

Out in the Park yesterday late afternoon, two birds shot past me - one in hot pursuit of the other, just a flash of movement, swooping through narrow spaces like two miniature fighter pilots engaged in combat .... moments later I witnessed this Sparrowhawk, bright eyed and alert, on top of her pigeon prey. She was surrounded by a group of Peafowl who had gathered to watch and perhaps even to participate in the event - the Sparrowhawk had to raise her wings intermittently at the Peafowl to keep them at bay. I've included some key facts about the Sparrowhawk:

This is a Eurasian (or Northern) Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus); a small bird of prey. Adult males have bluish grey upperparts and orange-barred underparts; females and juveniles are brown above with brown barring below - we think that the visitor to our Park was probably a female. The females are up to 25% larger than the males – one of the largest differences between the sexes in any bird species.
The Sparrowhawk is a predator that specialises in catching woodland birds. There are an estimated 40 000 resident throughout the UK. Sparrowhawks seem to thrive in a variety of habitats and are often seen hunting for garden birds in urban and suburban areas. The smaller male Sparrowhawk tends to hunt for smaller birds such as tits, finches, and sparrows; whereas the larger female is more likely to take thrushes and starlings - however, as can be seen in my photo, female Sparrowhawks are capable of killing larger birds such as pigeons (sometimes weighing more than 500grams).

Friday, 26 March 2010


Over the EASTER WEEKEND, Seaview Wildlife Encounter is hosting the Great Mystery Wildlife Quiz Trail.
Visitors can hunt for hidden wildlife clues and even be part of the popular, hands-on wildlife encounters.
There are free creamy Easter eggs if you discover all the answers. The star prize is a giant basket of egg-cellent Easter goodies.
Entry forms are available at the Park entrance.

New arrivals have also landed at the Park - Amazing Alpacas that look just like giant teddy bears.
Dippy, the Park's head-honcho Humboldt Penguin, is the first real penguin to be launched on Facebook. To become friends with Dippy, just search for Dippy Seaview.

The Penguin brigade have been very busy recently. They've been building ground nests and laying eggs ready to hatch their chicks in the next few weeks. You can help feed the Penguins at 11.30am and 3.30pm every day.

Two new female Meerkats have also joined the Park recently and they've really bowled over the three boys at the Park. The gang are at their most mischievous right now and are a joy to watch. Feeding time is at 2.15pm daily.

The three otters, who arrived last Easter, were quite shy on arrival - but not anymore. The three brothers are cheeky, noisy and always hungry. When the Keepers go into their enclosure they have to watch out, because the otters bite their boots!

For the ultimate otter observation, watch them being fed at 3pm daily.

Seaview Wildlife Encounter has just launched its new website and Blog. Log on regularly to keep up to date with what's happening at the Park.

Ducklings are starting to hatch and the baby Joey Wallabies are peeking out of their mother's pouches.

By Jules Brittan and Jamie White

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Vet's Visit to the Park

Our vet, Dr Ian Green, has visited the Park - for a final check up of some of our animals and birds prior to our re-opening this Saturday, 27th March.
Dr Green consulted on various small issues, but most of his time was spent in a make-shift surgery (in one of our offices!) where he and his assisting vet nurse castrated our five male Wallabies. This was necessary in order to avoid in-breeding in our Wallaby mob. We'll be considering bringing in a new stud male in due course in order to continue the strong bloodlines in our breeding programme.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Our Albino Joey hits the headlines in Times Online today!

See the full article online:
Our little Albino Wallaby Joey made a grand appearance for the press - and appeared in the Times online today. You can get up close by visiting us anytime from this Saturday 27th March.

Spring Fashion Shoot at the Park!

Just recently we were pleased to host a Spring fashion shoot for the Island's newest magazine - Style of Wight. A great team of people came and spent the morning with us - including Rhian and Peter the two models. We were fortunate enough to have blue skies and sunshine (albeit quite fresh temperatures!). I took a couple of images that give a taster of some of the goings-on.

For those of you who know Dippy (our Head Honcho Humboldt Penguin) you'll notice he's looking his usual 'relaxed in the limelight self' whilst Damien (the Green-Crested Touraco) had to be curtailed from flying into the model's hair (as he so loves to do!) Rhian and Pete spent some fun time working with various animals and birds - you can see the latest edition of Style of Wight for the full article .....

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Easter Quiz Trail at Seaview Wildlife Encounter

Don't forget our Easter Wildlife Quiz Trail happening all over the Easter weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday. This is the Park's biggest event of the year and is hugely popular with children and adults! Visitors collect their FREE entry form at the entrance reception and hunt for all the fun, educational wildlife clues hidden around the Park whilst still following the popular "hands-on" programme of wildlife events with informative keeper presentations.

Each child receives a delicious creamy easter egg if they have found all the answers and the star prize is a giant easter basket full off goodies and a free family pass for four! Come and join in the fun this easter at our beautiful multi-award winning Park.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Fluffy and co visit Little Hayes Residential Care Home

Fluffy, Prescilla, Cornelius, Collin and Cassandra decided that they didn't only want to visit Island Primary schools but also Residential Homes too! So off we went to Totland where we recieved a warm welcome from the residents of Little Hayes Residential Care Home.

It seemed that Prescilla our Bearded Dragon felt right at home and lapped up the attention from the residents and even Collin the Cockroach was a hit!

The residents of Little Hayes thouroughly enjoyed their visit from Tara, Fern and the critters, so much so that they would like us to return in a few months time!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Our Two New Arrivals - AMAZING ALPACAS!!

We're absolutely thrilled to announce the arrival of our two Huacaya Alpacas - just in time for our opening date on 27th March! We can't wait to share these two gorgeous boys with our visitors - they're just like giant, ginger teddy bears - so inquisitive, gentle and with such cute faces!

Unnusual Wallaby Joey - a Springtime surprise!

We're really thrilled to have an Albino Joey being carried in a Brown Wallaby mother's pouch - quite unnusual, there's currently no Albino male here at the Park to have impregnated the female - so it must be a genetic throw-back!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Humboldt Penguin Chicks soon to be hatched!

The above image: Baby penguins when they are around two months old!
Spring is definately in the air! Our established Humboldt Penguin breeding pairs have been very busy of late - mating, collecting nest material, more mating, stealing nest material from other penguin caves, laying eggs and now all eight breeding pairs are sitting tight.
They sit for between 39-42 days and the male and female both take turns in incubating the eggs. The image above shows a 2 day old baby penguin - very cute!
Their hatch weight can be anything from 70 grammes up to around 90 grammes ( a good healthy weight).
We'll keep you updated when the first eggs start pipping....should be around the first week of April.
Don't forget the Park opens in two weeks time - March 27th!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Shooo what a week, media, dips and exciting new arrivals!

It kicked off on Monday with the 'Cash in the Attic' shoot at the Penguin Pool ..... then on Tuesday we hosted a fashion shoot with the Island's newest, most exciting magazine, Style of Wight; we're not allowed to say too much yet, nor publish any photos, but look out for the next edition of Style of Wight due in 2 weeks time..... then came Wednesday and Isle of Wight Radio came to interview the Animal Keepers for a radio promotion that we're doing with them next week .... so don't forget to tune in to Isle of Wight Radio every day next week to hear the clues .....

The real dip in the week came late yesterday with the death of our little abandoned Wallaby Joey. Unfortunately the little chap didn't make it - the natural world can be harsh sometimes .... we did all we could but this one didn't survive.

With each dip there's a mountain peak to mirror it ..... yesterday also brought new life ...... we have two new arrivals at the Park ..... brand new for 2010 ....... our AMAZING ALPACAS!!! The two boys (they're both about 5 months old) look like giant teddy bears - they're absolutely gorgeous and have already settled in. We can hardly wait to share them with visitors to the Park ..... only a few more days to go before the Park opens on Saturday 27th March. We're hoping to see many old friends and to welcome a lot of new ones.

School Visit update!

Fluffy has been a very busy bunny! Along with Tara ( Education Officer), Fern and Holly (Animal Keepers) and even Alison (work experience student) we have managed to visit all corners of the Isle of Wight including All Saints Primary in Freshwater, Brighstone Primary, Oakfield Primary in Ryde and Wroxall Primary, with more still to come!
Fluffy our New Zealand Giant Rabbit, as well as Colin and Cassandra our Hissing Cockroaches AND of course Cornelius our Corn Snake (pictured above) have become quite accustomed to all the inquisitive and eager eyed children we have visited so far.
If you would like more information about organising a school visit from Tara, Fluffy, Cornelius and Colin and Cassandra then please visit our NEW improved website for more details!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

24 hours later ... the little guy is still with us!

Is it a bird, is it a rat, is it an alien .... eghad ..... no it's a Bennetts Wallaby Joey! The little guy is doing well so far - being syringe-fed every two hours - and already proving to be a great attraction with anyone involved with the Park. We all hope he continues to go from strength to strength.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Tiny Joey found abandoned in freezing temperatures

This tiny youngster was found earlier today in 'Wallaby Walkabout' at the Park - apparently abandoned by its young mother. The Wallaby Joey, thought to be approximately 4 months old, has no hair and is completely vulnerable - at this age it would normally be totally reliant on its mother, suckling and in the pouch on a full-time basis until approximately 6 months of age - only then would it start to venture out for short periods of time. The Animal Care Team will be taking up the challenge of being surrogate parents. The Joey has been wrapped up warmly and is snuggled in a fleece, inside an incubator; it's being syringe fed a milk substitute combined with an organic fruit baby food. At this early stage its difficult to know what the outcome might be.... we'll keep you posted.

BBC1's "Cash in the Attic" filmshoot at Seaview Wildlife's Penguin Pool

The image above shows Ben Strivens from Leopard Films (making BBC1's "Cash in the Attic") with Sandy and Ellie Plowright. (Photo taken this morning at Seaview Wildlife's Penguin Pool). The photo below is Sandy with Dippy (any chance of being in the limelight and he's there!)
We hope to hear from Sandy after she returns from her winning trip to Antarctica ......

We recently received a call from Ben Strivens of Leopard Films (filming for BBC1'S "Cash in the Attic"). Ben was hoping for footage of our Penguins - along with the lucky programme participant, Sandy Plowright. Through 'Cash in the Attic' Sandy successfully auctioned off a heap of 'treasures' that were previously stashed in her attic - and with the income is planning a once-in-a-lifetime-trip to Antarctica! Sandy has a particular passion for Penguins and, having visited Seaview Wildlife many times before, made a special request for the pre-trip photo shoot to take place here at the Park. The exciting event took place this morning (Monday 8 March) - the weather was fantastic - blue skies and sunshine! Dippy and all the gang were happy to be the focus of attention; they enjoyed an extra feast of tasty sprats and Dippy had his tummy tickled whilst blinking contentedly in the spring sunshine!

We'll let you know once Ben confirms the date that this episode of 'Cash in the Attic' will be televised.

Thursday, 4 March 2010


Just a reminder for those who missed the initial announcement, Dippy, our head honcho Humboldt Penguin has launched himself into being the first real penguin ever to join Facebook. Making use of this modern communication platform Dippy decided to take the plunge! This is a ground-breaking adventure where the main objective is to have some fun! Whilst he is making new friends and enjoying some light-hearted banter, Dippy is hoping to be able to participate in a wide spectrum of discussions with his new Facebook friends - anything from frivolous flutters to focused forums! Conservation is always on his mind but laughter never leaves his heart.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Two new kidds on the block - Holly and Olly!!

All of us at Seaview Wildlife Encounter extend a very warm welcome to the newest member of our Animal Care Team, Holly Cluitt. Pictured above earlier today, Holly can be seen clearly getting to grips with the job of Animal Keeper - with Olly, the young Pygmy Goat, tucked firmly under her arm! We wish Holly a long, happy and fun career with us here at the Park (and Olly too!)

Count-down to Park Opening on 27th March!

It's been all hands to the pumps at Seaview Wildlife today as we all start preparing for the re-opening of the Park on 27th March! The next three and a half weeks will be an absolute hive of activity as we countdown the days to lift off!

I captured a few team members multi-tasking and turning their hand to whatever needed doing earlier today. The photo above shows Roger on the dumper, whilst below Tracy tucks herself in next to some of the fluffy creatures she's re-arranging in the new Activity Den.

William -showing off his more artistic side

Mark making a difference with the power-washer in the Big Flight aviary.

This fun shot of Sally and Doreen (above) shows them making light (and fun) work of Springcleaning the Giftshop!