On our last full day in Iran, the family treated us to lunch out on a beautiful sunny holiday Friday, followed by a visit to the Esfahan Bird Garden just down the road from the Koh Ateshgah Sasanid fire temple which I climbed last October. From the road, the bird garden didn’t look much but its initial impression belied what we found inside the extensive grounds.
The grounds cover more than 50,000 square metres, most of which is sheltered by a net suspended high off the ground giving the 125 or so species of birds plenty of room to fly around freely.
We saw parrots, budgies, cockatoos, ostriches, owls, pheasants, peacocks as well as the aquatic birds in the large pool; pelicans, flamingos and storks and cranes all balancing on one leg and black and white swans paddling smoothly along in the clear water.
My favourites were the toucans which reminded me of those Guinness adverts of long ago and in Farsi they are known as Fala-Fala. I thought it was quite amusing to see two toucans perching on the branch; Fala-Fala, Fala-Fala. I know I’m sad but I won’t forget the Farsi name for a toucan in a hurry!
Another wonderful surprise and a perfect outing for a beautiful sunny and warm early spring afternoon. The trees are just breaking into leaf here giving the hedgerows and woodlands a lovely hazy-green appearance. The river however is extremely low as there is now a drought in this area threatening the production of those gorgeous melons and other orchard fruits that we picked in abundance at the end of last summer.
One positive thing may come out of the drought however. No fruit. No wasps.