P… P… Pick up a Penguin

​My birthday was over 6 months ago now, but on 30th December I opened the most exciting present from my mum. So exciting in fact that I cried… Yes, I am 26 and cried at penguins, and what? My poor mum was initially worried that I didn’t like her present, but I absolutely adore penguins, so no, I was just super happy!

​I had to arrange it super far in advance as they were fully booked, but finally on Friday I went off to feed the penguins at Marwell Zoo. I’ve lived in Hampshire for around 2 years now, and everyone had told me about Marwell, but I’d not managed to get around to visiting, so this was perfect!

​Conveniently, Alice over at Annie Writes Beauty had been given the same penguin experience around the same time, and she had hers last week as well, so I could pick her brains on what to wear and where to go!

My penguin experience was at 1515, so we had enough time to look around the zoo for the day first. Unfortunately, some of the animals seemed more happy to be indoors having a sleep and I didn’t manage to see the tigers, but I saw enough to keep me happy. I’ll just have to go back…
All photo’s were taken using my Nikon D3300 with a Sigma 70-300mm lens.

Penguin feeding time!

At 1510 I went back to Penguin Cove and met the two keepers. We went in and prepared around 15kg of herrings for the Humboldt penguins to eat. My first job out of school was in my local supermarket on a fish counter (not through choice) and so thankfully I didn’t find this too disgusting a task. We then stuffed vitamins inside the gills so that some of the penguins got ​their medication for the day, and weighed out the rest in to two buckets. We then went off in to the enclosure. I’ve never been mobbed by animals before, so that was an entirely new experience, and if they were hungry they definitely let you know. I wasn’t expecting them to eat so quickly, some of them hadn’t even completely swallowed one herring and were after the next.

All in all it took around half an hour, and it was probably one of the best experiences of my entire life. Definitely one to tick off the bucket list! Also, we really need to show some appreciation to Ralph, who is the most adorable little guy ever. He loses his feathers quicker than all the others and so he often can be spotted wearing a custom O’Neill wetsuit (adorbs) but on this occasion he was easily spotted as the fluffiest one there!

Best. Day. Ever.