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We welcomed Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to our aviaries in July and the finches have settled in very well. So well in fact that they have been busy breeding. They have been busing building nests and incubating their eggs. The first of those eggs have now hatched and the eldest chicks are nearly ready to fledge. We are thrilled to be able to share a few photos of the new babies. As they fledge, you may spot them stretching their wings as they build up those flight muscles and taking their first few tentative journeys from the nest.

A tangled nest built at the entrance to the nest box rather than inside!

A tangled nest built at the entrance to the nest box rather than inside!

Still a few feathers to grow.

Still a few feathers to grow.

A bit of baby-down showing, but this chick is fully feathered!

A bit of baby-down showing, but this chick is fully feathered!

Nearly ready for fledging!

Nearly ready for fledging!


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Dainty little hooves!

Dainty little hooves!

Juliet is a Manx Loaghthan sheep who joins us from Buster Ancient Farm in Hampshire. She is pending some time in Pets Corner as she gets used to life at Mudchute before joining the rest of our flock.

You may meet this lovely ewe when she is out for a walk with our staff and volunteers. Juliet walks brilliantly on a lead and many visitors double take when passing what they must first perceive to be a dog with horns!

Manx Loaghthan are a primitive short-tailed sheep breed that have grazed the slopes and uplands of the Isle of Man for generations. However, the breed declined drastically by the 1950s due to the introduction of other hill breeds.

The colour of Juliet’s fleece is called “moorit” (brown). She is only a young ewe (born last Spring), but will only grow to approximately 40kg. Even when fully grown she will retain a long-legged slim appearance typical of primitive sheep breeds.

Juliet's fleece is the typical moorit colouration.

Juliet’s fleece is the typical moorit colouration.

Come say hello to her in Pets Corner!

Come say hello to her in Pets Corner!

Out for a walk!

Out for a walk!

Stopping for a nibble.

Stopping for a nibble.

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Today members of the London Beekeepers Association joined us to plant nectar-rich forage for both the honeybees in the hives at Mudchute as well as wild pollinators. The wildflower species include a wide variety of native varieties that provide nectar throughout the year. All of the wildflower species have been carefully selected by the LBKA forage officer Mark and Mudchute trustee and botanist John Swindells. Thank you to all who helped with the planting! The weather may not have been the best for our volunteers, but the rain will help water the new plants in! As they settle, please take care when walking of the area surrounding our deadhedge on the lower paddock.

Interested in finding out more about planting for bees? You an find more info on flowers for bees on the LBKA website.

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