Stars of the show, come rain or shine

by Helen Hooker January. 14, 2017 2811 views

It's been eight months since I last visited the British Wildlife Centre so, with the promise of a sunny day, I drove down to Lingfield early this morning.  Sadly the weather didn't cooperate and the promised sun turned out to be cloud, followed by persistent rain!  However, the animals didn't seem to care and most of them were out and about, ready for the steady stream of photographers like myself.  

This is Biscuit, who I photographed back in May. She's thirteen years old now, and looking a little untidy, but the keepers are taking good care to ensure she continues to have quality of life in her old age.

The foxes were particularly active and the red squirrels went completely wild at feeding time; some of them literally begging to be given a tasty morsel!  

"Please Sir, can I have some more?!"

My favourites were the Scottish Wildcat kittens who were born in May, just days before my last visit.  On that occasion they were safely tucked away out of sight, but by today they'd been moved into a different enclosure on their own.  One of them loitered at the back of the enclosure initially, but once the keeper had strewn some food around they became braver and I was able to catch some seriously cute portraits as they crept forward to search for their lunch.

14 January 2017

This is my favourite picture from the day - that stare is so intense!

One of the otters at feeding time

The polecats are always cute - this one was looking up at the keeper, desperately willing her to throw him some more food!

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There are 38 comments , add yours!
Audrey Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

A lovely series. But those wild kits are something special. This must be an amazing place to visit. Also love the character in your image of Biscuit.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Audrey Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Audrey. It is a wonderful place - I tend to visit a few times each year and always come away with some lovely photos.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Amy Daniels 4 years, 8 months ago

Awesome live shots

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Amy Daniels 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Amy!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jill Bahm 4 years, 8 months ago

That red squirrel made my day! Great photos!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Jill Bahm 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Jill. They are such characters. They live in a walk through enclosure so you can get really close to them - given half a chance they run up your legs!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Emilia 4 years, 8 months ago
Comment was removed by admin
4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Emilia 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you so much Emilia!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Aidan Parisian 4 years, 8 months ago

Some amazing shots! #6 is a fantastic shot - eye contact, depth, and framing are all exquisite! Congrats!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Aidan Parisian 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you so much Aiden - I'm so pleased you enjoyed them!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Giancarlo Fosci 4 years, 8 months ago

What a wonderful images! Congratulations

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Giancarlo Fosci 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Giancarlo!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson 4 years, 8 months ago

Gorgeous captures of details and colors. Is that a special breed of feline? It looks like an ordinary house cat, but so well camouflaged in the tree!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Brenda Nelson 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Brenda! It may look like a tabby cat but Scottish Wildcats are now very rare. There are some up in Scotland but a lot of them interbreed with domestic cats so there are even fewer purebred ones these days. The cats at the British WIldlife Centre are parts of a breeding programme to try and increase numbers in the wild. They may look cute but they're impossible to tame and even when they're a few days old they hiss at humans!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson Replied to Helen Hooker 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the explanation, Helen. They are so beautifully marked - and those eyes....!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Shivani 4 years, 8 months ago

simply wow!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Shivani 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you very much!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Kara Bana 4 years, 8 months ago

What a look he's giving you in #5, reminds me of a nosy neighbour looking out a window at everything. Great blending in.
Fox 1 is a real character.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Kara Bana 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Kara!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Phyllis Moffitt 4 years, 8 months ago

Your favorite is mine also. Nice captures!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Phyllis Moffitt 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Phyllis!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Becky Brannon 4 years, 8 months ago

Fantastic set Helen! I feel like I can reach out and touch them!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Becky Brannon 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Becky! It's wonderful how close you can get to the animals here - the fox in the first shot actually came up to wire and licked my fingers!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Becky Brannon Replied to Helen Hooker 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow! Sounds like a great place to photograph animals!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Radha Mistry 4 years, 8 months ago

wow

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Radha Mistry 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you very much!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 years, 8 months ago

#4 and #6 steal the show. :-)

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Antonio Gil 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Antonio - they're my favourites too!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Carl Schraefel 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for this! amazing shots!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Carl Schraefel 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you so much Carl!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow! Brilliant captures!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Jay - so pleased you like them ūüėä

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Helen Hooker 4 years, 8 months ago

You never disappoint, Helen.....

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Heidi Egerman 4 years, 8 months ago

These are incredible Helen. I think of them as 'portraits'. Do you?

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Heidi Egerman 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you so much Heidi - I agree!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Loren Knoppi 4 years, 8 months ago

These are so wonderful! I love them! I can't get over the looks on their faces! Very moving.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Loren Knoppi 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Loren. I always come away from the British Wildlife Cent with some lovely pics, no matter what the weather is.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
David Allen 4 years, 8 months ago

Lovely set of pictures. Your title picture of the Wild cat kitten is my favourite - just.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to David Allen 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank you David, I recently bought a second hand Panasonic 100-300mm lens for my GX8 which I was trying out yesterday, For a budget telephoto lens I think it performed pretty well, even if my Canon 100-400 does still have the edge!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
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