Today, we are back at Kirkleatham Owl Centre, giving you a behind the scenes tour. Read about the birds, watch their progress in training, and get up close and personal with other residents, including the meerkat and porcupine families. This week the non-feathered visitors are back.

SO, this week we finally reopened to visitors, almost four months to the day we had to close due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

What concerned us was, would visitors return? Well, the answer was yes.

We reopened on the Thursday of last week – it was a bit drizzly and wet, not the kind of weather we usually want, but in this instance we didn’t mind as it meant we had a trickle of visitors on our first day back, easing us back into the routine as it were.

Friday was busier, Saturday and Sunday busier still, and speaking to visitors it is clear that people are just glad to be out and about again, and happy to be visiting different places.

Although we were busy, our Covid-19 plans worked well and we were able monitor numbers.

We have to say it’s amazing just how well people follow the rules, with everyone being very curtious of other visitors.

I suppose we have all got used to having to adapt to new rules and new ways of doing things and of the feeling that we are “all in this together”.

Many of our more social birds such as Cruella, the ground hornbill, and Sophie, the sulphur-crested cockatoo, were delighted to see visitors again, while our free ranging hens and guineafowl spent the week doing their best to “share” visitors’ picnics.

The Northern Echo:

Cruella, the Abyssinian ground hornbill

A busy few days ahead as we get ready to restart our flying displays from next week, hopefully with good weather and lots more visitors, things definitely seem a little bit more normal than they did a week ago.