Friday, 13 June 2014

Animals in the Bluebells

Tawny Owl Flying over the Bluebells

Hello to visitors new and not so new. For those that have come for the first time from the BWC Blog, or any other link, this blog is to share more photos from around the British Wildlife Centre. Photos that may not necessarily be linked to a story on the main blog, or just extra photos that I thought some of you may like to see, but I didn't want to clog up the main blog with for those that didn't.

Firstly, for those that are new, have a look back through the archives and you will see a few photos of all seven British owls and the earlier post this week with some fresh water vole pics taken a few days ago.

For everyone who has been visiting, thank you for the support, this blog has got of to a flying start and in only 3 weeks of being active is already averaging over 50 independent hits a day! I really am surprised, but very pleased, that so many of you want to see more BWC action! I am sure this will continue to increase over the weeks, especially today when I officially announce it on the main blog.

OK, enough rambling, the most requested photos were for some I took in the bluebells earlier this year. I am sure you can imagine I took many, so have included a few here...

Above is Florence flying over the bluebells, I took one similar a few years a go which became very well known, I have included it below, but this one above has shown how far I have come personally in my photography. The newer photos definitely have a style to them... but then I still find it hard to chose which I prefer out of the two.

Hedgehog in the Bluebells

This is one of our hedgehogs called Timone. I love bluebells, just the blaze of violet across the woodland floor contrasting beautifully with the vivid green. I always feel I need to make the most of it, and do some photography, but have to have an animal there to make it worth while. This usually means owls, as they are easier to take down to the woods and are trained. It would be impossible to take one of our foxes down there for example. However, one of our friendly hedgehogs can easily be moved, and they seem to enjoy the enrichment of exploring the woods.

Barn Owl in the Bluebells

Big Pete on the edge of the woods.

Little Owl in the Blubells

Little Scrappy, almost completely lost in the bluebells.

Scrappy in the Bluebells

And one a bit more isolated, with just an impression of colour in the background.

Long Eared Owl in the Bluebells

Archimedes, one of our long eared owls, very sleepy during his shoot... could barely open his eyes.


By coincidence, a tawny owl chick was bought in on the afternoon I was heading down to the woods. So we took him with us while we were waiting for the local rescue centre to come and collect him.

Eagle Owl in the Bluebells

Ethel the eagle owl... not very natural, but a pretty picture.

Lucy and Ethel in the Bluebells

A lot of the photos I take for work can be done on my own, but some I do need help. Mainly for the owls if there is no where to tether them... To be honest, I highly doubt they would fly off, they are well trained, but it is best not to take the risk. Above is Lucy in the bluebells with Ethel.

So, they are a pick of ones I took earlier this year. You may have seen some already on the BWC website. Below are a few from the years...

Harvest Mouse on Bluebells

I mentioned the difficulty of mammals above for the bluebells... I once took some badger cubs down to the woods to photo in the bluebells, but didn't really make the most of the chance. It was the first year I had a camera, and I didn't really know what I was doing.

Above is a harvest mouse. Easy to perch... but very difficult to find a bluebell strong enough to take his weight. Surprising since they only weigh as much as a two pence coin!

Peeking Tawny in the Bluebells

This is Florence peeking around a tree taken last year. This is one of my favourites, and one of a few I submitted in to the BWPA this year... it didn't get short-listed though.

Florence in the Bluebells

Portrait of Florence in the bluebells.

Winged Assassin of Bluebell Wood

And lastly, the one I took of Florence flying over the bluebells a few years a go. Different to the first, and I am not sure which one I prefer, but this was one of the first photos that really got noticed by people other than visitors to the BWC. It made it in to three national papers on the same day, and has sold a few prints over the years too... all proceeds of which I donate to the good work we do here at the BWC.

Thanks for looking

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