Monday, 5 March 2018

Photos from February

The end of February brought us some snow, and although we didn't get as much as surrounding areas, we still did get a little covering here at the Centre. Around getting jobs done so that keepers could get home early, and avoiding my fingers dropping off in the bitterly cold wind, I managed to get a few pictures of our animals in the dusting of snow. The one above of Susie in her ermine coat being my favourite.

A few more snow photos are at the end of the post, but I wanted to share a couple of others first. This one above is of one of our male otters, Jake. I took this during the early part of the month, having been taking photos of the cubs and buster... and remembering that I don't actually have too many pictures of him.

It was very late one evening, and little light... you can see hardly any colour in the image at all, but still he looks as handsome as ever. It is probably my favourite portrait of him I have at the moment. 

At the beginning of the month I wanted to try and get a photo of Susie in her ermine coat. Something else I have wanted for a while is a photo of her whole body, including her tail... most of my pictures of her are just head and shoulders out of a hole.

I was happy with these two for record shots, but still not what I really had in mind.

When the snow came, it helped with the poor light by reflecting it around the enclosure making things a bit easier. I quite liked the one above, and so now just need to take one in her summer coat complete with tail.

In the past, when we have had snow, the snowy owl has always been my first port of call. But this year I had to make it Susie... an ermine stoat in the snow!

Tuesday afternoon, the keepers went home early to avoid the traffic and icy roads, and I went and spent half an hour with Susie before heading off myself.

We had a little bit of light for a few minutes, but even with out it wasn't too bad as the snow made everything brighter.

Feeling left out, Nina the weasel wanted her photograph taken too!

Now these pictures of the otters were actually taken on the 1st of March, but thought I would include them here since they are a bit snowy.

I have several photos of our two otter cubs running on the snowy ice, but these are a couple of my favourites.

It took them a while to get used to the ice, unlike Buster above, who has seen it all before. Here he is just standing in the middle of the pond on the ice, wondering what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for looking :-)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Photos from January

Photography seems to be a rare thing for me these days, but I did manage to spend a few minutes on a couple of afternoons after work a couple of weeks a go down with our otter cubs. The bad news... it was dark... very dark!.. but the good news, my new camera that finally I have been able to try out properly coped really well considering the conditions. I don't think I would have done half as well with my old camera.

I took quite a few record shots for work, but thought I would share a few of my favourites here. Above is mum Emmy with one of her cubs.

She is a good mum, even if she does get a little fed up with them climbing all over her at times.

One of the cubs just chilling in the water with her leg floating up out the back

It is difficult to get both cubs together without one blocking the other, but I have a nice little sequence of them helping each other out of the water.

One of the evenings we were blessed with a little ray of light for about five minutes.

And two of my favourites. Above is dad Elwood looking out, with one cub using him for balance while copying him and the other looking up at dad adoringly. They were there for a couple of minutes, and both cubs were standing with Elwood at different stages but never all three at once unfortunately.

Below, a close up of one of the cubs checking out his reflection in the lens.

Thanks for looking :-)

Monday, 8 January 2018

Ten Favourites from 2017

Last year was a bit quiet for me in terms of photography, why?.. Well mainly the Centre being busier... and as much as I like taking photos, the Centre is and will always be my main priority. It was a shame in one way though, as I had a new new camera at the start of the year and didn't really get a chance to use it properly until the end of the year. 

Hopefully more time will be free this year, and I will get to use it more. So far I like it very much. Anyway, to start the year off I thought I would share ten of my favourites from last year. Some on my new camera, some old, and even the iPhone thrown in for good measure. 

The otter cubs with mum above, one of the first photos with my new camera taken at the beginning of the year when I was trying it out straight from the box. 

This was on my phone, and I kind of wish I took it on my camera now as it has been very popular and done well for the Centre. A row of Albus's antlers from the last five years castings.

Our dormice were filmed waking from hibernation for the "tree" programme on the BBC that Judi Dench and the Centre was involved with. During filming I took the chance to take a few pictures, as very rarely do we have our dormice out like this.

A rather cutesy portrait of two of our long eared owl chicks in the buttercups. Bit cheesy I know, but ideal for a record shot for the Centre to use.

A photo I had been wanting to get for a long time. A weasel by a packet of Polo mints. Not as good as I hoped, but good enough until I get better. I was bale to give it a go last year with this rescued weasel called Ginny.

One of my favourite portraits from last year. One of our new water voles on our display island. We had a new family arrive early summer, and a couple of the kits where black.

We moved our weasels around a lot last year, and this little one settled in to her photographic pen really quickly. Still a star on display and posing nicely for photographers.

Macavity the wildcat. Always try to make the cats look "wild", but in a different way to just have them snaring.

Hugo is a great hedgehog, and so good for photography. I have photographed our hedgehogs in autumn leaves for the past few years, but tried something a bit different this year and was pleased by the results. This one above is one of my favourites, and was used by Springwatch last Autumn.

Our mice and voles often overlooked. Our yellow neck mice had a good season at the end of the year, so I spent half an hour one morning trying to photograph them. Trying being the word... very dark, and they never seem to stop, but I was pleased with this one.

Thanks for looking :-)