Watch the birdie, and the penguin, and the Orca…

Phwoar there I was surrounded by birds, I was charming them out of the trees and they were nearly eating out of my hand – ok I’m not fooling anyone, these birds were of the feathered variety and they were in the new Katandra tree tops aviary at Loro Parque.

Todays main mission was to see the Special Orca Show at Christmas (directly from the USA) at Puerto de la Cruz’s famous park, and I was kindly extended a press entry. The 343 Titsa (strike over now) from Los Cristianos whisked me there in just over an hour, giving me time for a stroll in the town and then a walk along the seafront to Loro Parque. The weather may have behaved at football in Santa Cruz last night, but dark clouds were hovering and the sea was wild and lashing the shore.

It’s been just over a year since my last visit to Loro Parque and I was desperate to see the penguins, I have always been fascinated by them. Planet Penguin is a great setting with imitation ice flows and light settings that mimic the seasons, all my favourites were there stood to attention, waddling, grooming and diving into the water. I’m sure they find the constant stream of visitors fascinating, we must look very peculier to them through the glass.

As their little wings waved goodbye, I headed for the Oracarium, eager to see how the whale show had been updated for this special 2 week run. The show was wonderful, but the same wonderful as always, the only concessions to christmas were on the giant screen where the music was overlaid with carols and animated snowflakes decorated the film. Everyone lapped up the majestic jumps and tail splashing from these huge beautiful creatures, but I was left a little let down.

Never mind, I had yet to see the new Katandra treetops aviary that was opened in September and took the chance to plug that gap in my knowledge. Loro Parque seems bigger than it is, due to very clever design that sees it twist and turn on several levels, this skill was also employed on the design of Katandra. A large pool is enveloped by a small jungle of trees and wooden walkways that take you up among the branches where the many colourful birds flit between their feeding bowls and nests. They are all quite tame and are quite willing to preen themselves and chatter away at close quarters. It’s a great addition to the park, a real squawking, screeching, whistling paradise.

The menacing clouds decided to do their worst just as I went to leave the park, thankfully they have a nice “Noddy” train that snakes through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz back to the seafront near the town centre, and with the protective covers strapped down, it proved pretty waterproof. I’m sure I will be back again and again at Loro Parque, the rain and time restrictions meant I didn’t get to see all of my favourites this time but I can sleep easy knowing that my penguins are cosy and cold.