Dodging the crowds

by Helen Hooker August. 30, 2018 608 views

It’s been four months since I last visited the British Wildlife Centre so I sneaked a trip in today, while they’re still open on weekdays. The centre was humming with parents and children on their holidays so I opted for a different strategy to usual. Normally I’d go along to the keepers’ talks, where they tell us about the animals and tempt them out with food. These were very busy though, so instead I visited the various animal enclosures while the talks weren’t happening. Here, the animals were mostly out enjoying the sunshine in peace and quiet.

Looking up at a passing aircraft taking off from nearby Gatwick Aiport

Looking up at a passing aircraft taking off from nearby Gatwick Aiport

Every time I visit I have success photographing a different variety of animals, although the foxes and Scottish wildcats almost always pose obligingly. The otters were quite cooperative too today, scampering about on the grass by their pond. This one even looked at my camera when it heard the shutter click – I guess they must be used to the attention!

There's always time to groom oneself

There's always time to groom oneself

"Was that a camera shutter I heard?!"

"Was that a camera shutter I heard?!"

Just before lunch I took a look around the smaller creatures and was enchanted by the Yellow Necked Mice. They’d just been fed and were busy selecting tasty morsels to eat. They weren’t bothered by my and my camera and I caught so many ultra-cute portraits of them.

The Yellow Necked Mice were so cute!

The Yellow Necked Mice were so cute!

Even the black rats looked rather sweet

Even the black rats looked rather sweet

This is Turbo the hedgehog - so inquisitive....

This is Turbo the hedgehog - so inquisitive....

....and quite speedy too - hence the name!

....and quite speedy too - hence the name!

"Are you aiming that camera at me? Please be sure to catch my best side!"

"Are you aiming that camera at me? Please be sure to catch my best side!"

Later in the afternoon I stopped by the deer, and had a wonderful encounter with a Roe deer. We made eye contact and the deer cautiously watched me, as if trying to decide whether to run or not. Eventually it decided I was no threat and went about its business, grazing for food before settling down in the shade for a snooze.

Eye contact

Eye contact

Dozing in the dappled shade

Dozing in the dappled shade

One of last year's young Fallow Deer. This young chap's name is Elvis!

One of last year's young Fallow Deer. This young chap's name is Elvis!

My final port of call was the owls, who were mostly snoozing in their aviaries. One of the Long Eared Owl was being quite vocal though, so I bided my time to catch a portrait as he shrieked at me. Next door, the Tawny Owl was altogether quieter, no doubt wishing his next door neighbour would shut up!

30 August 2018

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There are 6 comments , add yours!
Jane Arrietty 2 years, 4 months ago

Very very great pictures, Helen!!

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Southbaytimes 2 years, 4 months ago
Comment was removed by admin
2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Southbaytimes 2 years, 4 months ago

Thank you!

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 4 months ago

I wished, I could like it with more heart heart heart
The protraits are so beautiful - *sigh*

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Sigrid!

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Scribe 2 years, 4 months ago

Thank you.

Every capture, a divine reminder
of immortal love and beauty,
ever free-flowing in nature frog

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Kay Hooker 2 years, 4 months ago

Beautiful set Helen.  I must go one day and experience these wonderfull animals. I bet Lucy would be intersted in the mice, and even the black rat.

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
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