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.
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!
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.
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.
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