Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Bluebells


It all comes around together so quickly... playing otters, dancing adders, and of course the bluebells in the woodlands on our nature reserve. Some very lucky people on our owl days have managed to take full advantage of this, and taken some amazing photos, and over a few evenings a couple of weeks ago I went down to the woods with some of the keepers and a couple of animals to have a go myself.







Ash and Oakley, the two tawnies we hand reared last year from a couple of days old. This was the first time they have been tried out on the reserve, and they were true stars! So much so we are thinking of adding them to our owl days so photographers can photograph two tawnies together. 

So much fun watching these two... One settled quickly and loved every minute, one made it clear he wasn't as happy to be there... can you guess which is which :-)







Athelstan in the bluebells. He is still a newbie to the idea of photoshoots, but was a real pro!.. except wanting to spend all his tie with his Dad Tom, and keep jumping on to his lap :-)







All the hedgehog photos are of Hugo.







One of the tawny brothers on his own above, and Florence below.











Fagin the little owl.







Of course, a couple of Ethel our European eagle owl too.



Thanks for looking :-)



Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Dance of the Adders 2019


For those who know me, or who have followed either of my blogs for a few years now, you will know I have a soft spot for our adders. One of the things I look forward to the most each year is the "Dance of the Adders" where our males compete in a beautiful display of strength and stamina over the nearby females.

I have a lot of photos over the years of this entrancing behaviour. When I was first told by one of the keepers that they were watching the adders dance for the first time this year, I rushed up to have a look and take some record shots for work. I must admit, under my breath I was cursing not cutting back the grass a little the day before as I was anticipating them dancing any day. But when I jumped into take a few photos I was soon very pleased I hadn't. I managed to take some photos unlike ones I have before, and am particularly pleased with the first one I have shared above.

Here are a few more for you to see...



















































Thanks for looking :-)

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Herman the Heron


Herman the Heron!

Herman is a youngster from last year, who was born out on our reserve, and through no encouragement from us is a very friendly heron who visits our otter ponds nearly every day.

Now, of the many herons roosting on our reserve, a lot visit at the end of the day to pick off the scraps of fish our otters leave behind. But Herman is different. He visits even when no food is around, and is very VERY bold. I have had him within feet while I have been doing a keeper talk before.

He is playing a risky game, as our otters have taken herons before, but they don't seem to mind Herman at the moment, and he seems a bit more clued in too.

Either way, they seem to tolerate each other at the moment, and he is a welcome sight in our otter pond.























As well as Herman, we have our wild wild herons on our reserve. Chicks in the nest constantly calling for food means a lot of action down there too. Best place to spot them is from either our wetland boardwalk, or maybe even better our second car park on the edge of the reserve.