Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Autumn Update

It's been a while, and not due to lack of photos. Actually this year I've managed to get out around the Centre a little more than usual to take some pictures, but with work being as busy as ever there has been a lack of time to post or share some of them.

Here are a few of the many over the last few months, a bit of a mix, and most straight forward portraits. I will hopefully share a few more of the others around these, if that makes sense, in time. I don't think I will be out with the camera much for the rest of the year, unless we get some snow of course.

Above is Quil-i-am one of our hedgehogs that was reared earlier this year. Last week we did a photo shoot with him and his brother, Snoophog, in an autumn leave set up.

This is our new roe buck, Rowan, who we have only had for a few weeks. He is a very handsome chap, and settling in extremely well.

It seems out younger buck, Vinny, managed to hold on and take over control of our fallow herd from our pale buck Norman. Vinny put on a real good show this year, barking away and strutting his stuff in front of them all.

One of our red squirrel kittens from this year. You may notice he only has half a tail!.. We are not sure why or how this happened, but have named him Nutkin of course after Beatrix Potter's squirrel who lost half his tail.

Braveheart our main male wildcat now. He will be paired up for breeding early next year.

Elwood in the rain. Not that you can really see the rain in this picture, but it was quite a fun half hour with our two otters trying to photograph them with the rain falling quite heavily.

One of our male adders, Lucius, curled up in the top of the gorse bush. Now in brumation for the winter.

Here is Snoophog from his autumn leave photography experience.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Water Voles


Over the earlier part of this year our maintenance team were doing some essential work on our water vole island display, trying to rectify the many leaks it had developed over the years. While this work was being carried our we moved a small group of water voles into our grass snake enclosure for people still to see (having taken the rarely seen grass snakes out first).

They were a nice little display in there, but long term it was never suitable, our main island display is nearly four times the size, and so as soon as it was ready we moved them back to their home! For those who have never visited, or can't remember, our water vole display is a large raised enclosure so that photographers can get eye level with them when on the land and almost eye level when in the water. It has a large island, surrounded by water, with two smaller feeding platform islands for them to get to to feed... Having said that, most of the food they take will be naturally on the island and we just supplement with rabbit food, fruit and veg.

This display has worked well for us in the past, and the voles seem to enjoy it. Over the last few weeks they have been back they have been very active, chasing each other over the island, jumping in and out of the water, and swimming around the moat.

Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Yellow Neck Mice

I spent a little time in our hedgerow the other morning, before we were open to the public, and was hoping to get some photographs of our field voles... the problem was the time of day and bad reflections on the glass. It made it very difficult, so I decided to move on to our yellow neck mice and wood mice in the more shaded part of the hedgerow, and where the reflections were more manageable.

These two mice are vey difficult to tell apart just by looking at them, the yellow necked mice do tend to be a little bigger, but from a visual point of view the big difference is their yellow band across the neck... hence their name. I was hoping to get a photograph of both types showing their neck, but only kind of managed with the yellow necked. In fact only one of the photos below is of a wood mouse.

This is the wood mouse. You may be able to see a couple of slight differences, but really it is the size and neck... neither of which you can see from this photo... which shows you it is a wood mouse rather than a yellow neck mouse.

And a couple of field voles that stopped for a second to see what was going on. I will have to try again at a different time of day with these.

Thanks for looking :-)