Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Otter Cub Update

Half term is half way through, and the stars of the week have been our two young otter cubs! Despite the somewhat dismal weather, they have both been out and about frequently and made an appearance at most of our otter keeper talks... and all our otter main feeds.

They are both doing really well, and growing in confidence daily. Both already hand feeding by the keeper, and showing their own individual personalities and traits. They have all been showing off their playful sides too... when we had the short snow flurry last Saturday, they were rolling around and playing with a snowball. And as with his cubs in the past... shortly after most of their feeds, Dad, Elwood, has been seen playing with them in the water, tumbling in and out and cartwheeling in the water.

We are still open for the rest of the week if you wish to come and see them, and then of course still open for the weekends after this week. Hope to see some of you here.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Photo of the Month: January 2017

"Ermine Stoat" by Jonathon Hicks

It is time to share our first photo of the month for 2017. We choose our favourites from the ones we see shared over the internet, or sent in to us via email. The main places we look are flickr and instagram, so if you post your pics in one of these places, there is a good chance one of us will see it... but if you have a photograph you are particularly pleased with... why not email it in to us!

We have decided to share photographs that have been uploaded within the month in question, but will always show a preference to those taken that month too... it is nice to keep it seasonal... especially since the 12 chosen images make up our coffee shop gallery for the following year. The overall winner, chosen from the 12 by a professional photographer, then wins a photographic day here at the Centre. 

So on to January 2017! Lots of seasonal pics on view, otters on ice, animals in the snow but we have picked this lovely shot of Susie the stoat, having turned ermine for the winter, taken by Jonathon Hicks. A nice closeup, which shows the full white coat and black tip to the tail in the background. 

As always, click on the link in the photographers name to see more of their work. Below are some other pictures that caught our eye this past month. 

A black and white otter on ice by Zena.
"Otter on Ice" by Gary K Mann

Gary has some great otter on ice pictures on his flickr stream, but we particularly liked this one... just how we feel on some of the colder mornings.

"What is this white stuff?" by Natasha Jefferies

You can see we didn't have much snow, but that we did have caused some great reactions form the animals.

"Eagle Owl" by Daniel Hannington

And an older picture, but a great one. Ethel flying straight towards the camera during our owl display. Great eye contact!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

BWC 2016: Photo of the Year

"Wildcat Kittens" by Bob Matthews

Congratulations to Bob Matthews, who was selected by Professional Photographer Heather Angel, to win our photo of the year 2016 with this lovely image of Kendra and her kittens.

Heather chose this photo above, saying:

"It is always difficult to get an animal family portrait without one individual's face masked by another body or, even worse, a youngster running out of shot just as the shutter is released. Bob Matthews' image of "Wildcat Kittens' has achieved an endearing image of Kendra and her three kittens. Capturing all kittens in contact with their mother conveys her love for them and their dependence on her. I particularly like the way they are grouped together in a diagonal line, which enhances the composition. Well done and congratulations Bob!"

Well done Bob, you win a photographic day here at the Centre, and your photo will be displayed with the 11 other chosen photos of last year in our coffee shop gallery.

If you would like to see more of Bob's photographs, follow this link in his name above to his flickr page.

Many thanks again to Heather Angel for being our professional judge for last year's competition. To see some of Heather's work take a look at her website by following this link: Heather Angel Photographer You will get to see some stunning images taken from around the world, and a great blog offering tips for your own photography.
If you like what you see there, why not follow her on twitter. Heather posts regular updates under @angelantics
And if you're more of a smartphone kinda person, then Heather had a new Instagram channel where you can see a selection of her worldwide images.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Otter Cub Update

Our otter cubs have been growing bolder by the day, and over the past couple of weekends have even made brief appearances after some of the keeper talks. I have tried to get some pictures for you to see, but... I have fallen short... I don't know, lack of time and I don't even know if I know my landscapes from portraits these days.

These were the best I could get, both taken shortly after a keeper talk, and both after Emmy took some food back to the holt to try and tempt them out... hey look, two cubs in the photo above!

"Otter Cub with Mum" by Moi Hicks

The good news though is that some of our members have been staking out the pond, and gone home with some lovely photographs of the youngsters. Like this one above taken by Moi Hicks, mother Emmy on the left taking one of the cubs down to the waters edge... and a great reflection!

"Otters" by Chloe Holland-Skinner, age 11

And how about this great photo by Chloe, age 11. Last weekend, shortly after our deer talk, I headed back past our otter pond in the rain... and a few brave souls were stood watching Emmy move her cubs from one holt to another. I don't think there was a camera between any of us, but a few people had their phones out and Chloe managed to capture this special moment.

You will probably see more images of our cubs pop up on the usual photo sharing sites over the next few weeks, or of course... come and see them for yourselves in person.

Friday, 13 January 2017

BWC in the Snow?..

Well, kind of... We had a small, very small, dusting of snow here last night. Not really nearly enough from a photographic point of view, but still it was there.

It is thawing fast though, so for those possibly getting excited about the weekend and photographing our animals in the snow... you will most likely disappointed.

But!.. on the positive side of things, out otter cubs are continuing to get bolder every day. Both youngsters are venturing out a little bit more, and a little bit further under the close supervision of mum. We have even seen them playing with each other on their own once, until scampering back to the holt when something spooked them.