This trip was quite nostalgic for me, as my parents took me to Birdworld quite regularly when I was young.
Since I’ve last been they’ve expanded their range of animals, and have lots more shows throughout the day – there’s around 1 per hour throughout the day. The park’s medium sized, so if you time it right you can go from show to show, seeing the rest of the animals in between.
Birdworld feedings, events and shows
When we went this was the schedule of shows:
11am – Penguin feeding
11.45 Pelican feeding
12.30 Rabbit, mouse and guinea pig petting at the farm
14.30 Outdoor flying display
15.30 Penguin feeding
16.00 Owl prowl
Parrots, Toucans, Pheasants and other birds
When you enter Birdworld, the first section consists of many cages and enclosures full of birds. For me this is the heart of Birdworld – this is what I think of when someone mentions Birdworld to me. As well as many different breeds of parrots and parakeets, they have flamingos, toucans, ibis, hornbills, several varieties of pheasant and owls. It’s pretty impressive; all different sizes, colours and types of bird. The ‘parrot walk’ is great – they have lots of breeds and give information on habitat, care and conservation status.
If you’re planning a visit, I would recommend getting there when the park opens at 10am. This way, you can spend an hour going round the aviaries before going on to the rest of the park and seeing the penguin feeding.
You can buy bird feed in the gift shop at the entrance to the park and there are machines in the park itself to top up.
Pheasant woodland walk
Supposedly this is an area where Pheasants roam freely. I imagine it would be quite lovely, but there weren’t any Pheasants out when we went.
This is a bamboo patch with pathways through and dinosaur heads poking out in various places. Not something to make a special trip for, but Jack, my 2 year old, enjoyed it.
We watched the Humboldt’s Penguins feeding at 11am. They’re a small grey breed of penguin. The staff member let one of the older boys from the crowd come up and help with the feeding. I’m sure Jack would have loved to feed the Penguins, but I guess he was a bit little. He still enjoyed watching them and insisted on going back several times to visit.
The pelicans were impressive. I’m used to seeing the small Pelicans from afar in St James’ park in London. Here the pelicans are much much bigger and you can get right up close to them. They have two varieties – great white pelicans and smaller grey pink-backed pelicans. There were also some storks in the pelican enclosure which would fly overhead to the nearby trees, once they caught us by surprise and had 5 or 6 people ducking for cover!
The staff member talked about the Pelicans during the feeding, explaining how the pelicans would juggle the fish in their mouths before eating it to get it to go down more easily. They also explained how the birds were evolved for their native habitats (in Africa).
This is a nice area with chickens and a rooster walking around. They also have ducks, goats, pigs and sheep. At 12.30 each day you can go in and pet rabbits, mice and guinea pigs. There’s a playground in here as well as a red and a blue tractor that Jack loved!
Outdoor flying display
This was a real highlight of the day for us – we saw a snowy owl, a bird of prey and a kookaburra flying all of the enclosure and overhead. Depending on where you’re sitting, you may have birds flying right by your head (close enough to make you duck!). We were sitting on a bench on the left hand side if you’re facing the enclosure, near the aisle, and we had the snowy owl passing probably a foot from our heads. My 2 year old was in heaven!
This really is an addition to the main park rather than an attraction in itself – it’s quite small and old with only a few good fish – they have a seahorse and a Regal Tang (‘Dori’ from Finding Nemo).
We were quite excited about the Dwarf Crocodiles, but the enclosure wasn’t really set up to see them well. It was quite dark, and mostly covered, with a dip towards the far corner. The crocs were in this dip so we couldn’t get a good view. It was a little disappointing as Jack had been talking about seeing the crocodiles all day, then when we got there he couldn’t even see them, despite me trying to point them out to him.
There are playgrounds throughout Birdworld. The best on is towards the end of the park, just outside the farm, near the kiosk. There are lots of picnic tables nearby to have your lunch on. There’s another in the middle of the park, and one inside the farm.
Food and drink
We read online that it wasn’t great, so we brought a pack lunch. There are a couple of kiosks selling small snacks and teas and coffees. There’s also a cafe near the gift shop. It looked fine, although not many people in it. There are lots of benches outside, so I think most people bring food with them.
Birdworld admission prices
Birdworld admission prices vary throughout the year, so check here for current prices before you go. Ticket prices during peak season are £15.95 for adults, £13.95 for 7-15 year olds, £11.95 for 3-6 year olds and free for under 3s. You can also get a discount by booking online here, but make sure you book in advance – online tickets are only valid from the day after booking. The park, aquarium and farm are open all year round, but there are limited shows during winter.
Birdworld opening times
10am – 6pm BST
10am – 4.30pm GMT
Toilets and handwashing facilities
This is one part of Birdworld that isn’t great, unfortunately. They only have two sets of toilets – one in the car park, so you have to go out of the park itself to get to it, and one at the far end. They ones inside the park itself are just two portaloos – one for men and one for women. The park recommends washing hands if you’ve touched any of the animals, but doesn’t provide handwashing stations. The only one I could find was inside the farm – so if you want to wash your children’s hands for lunch you have to actually go through the gate into the farm area to do so. Unless, of course, you want to wash their hands in a portaloo (yuck!). Definitely time for some renovations and better facilities here!
As far as I could see there were no steps anywhere in the park – you can take a stroller or wheelchair everywhere. There were a couple of enclosures with doors, but they were always big enough to get a double stroller through.