Thursday, 22 June 2017

More Long-eared Owl Chicks


Well, they've done it again. Another year, another second clutch of long-eared owl chicks from our pair Quill and Embry. This time they had two eggs hatch from two laid, another success.

They have been named Barney and Betty... um, yep... you read that right.



These little ones are currently being reared by our own Little Tom, and what better hands could they be in with Tom having reared their older brother Percy last year,  who now performs so well in our flying team.

Already with homes lined up, they won't be with us too long, but no doubt Tom will show them off when he is in.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Red Deer Calves



Over the last couple of weeks, our red deer hinds have been giving birth. We currently have 5 calves out there, and one or two more hinds possibly about to give birth. Red deer calves are remarkable, usually on their feet within twenty minutes of being born. Very wobbly, but still up and moving. They spend a lot of time laid up in the grass however... Usually the mothers will leave them hidden away in the grasses while they head off and feed with the rest of the group, returning periodically throughout the day to feed the calf.

You may think that leaving them in the grass in not that good of a camouflage technique, but take a look at the photo above... can you see the calf?



OK, a little easier for you... how about above in the nettles?..

Did you find her in the bottom left corner? Great, what about the other one though, there are actually two calves in this photo!



So, out of the 5 we currently have, 4 keep getting tucked away in the grass, and the older one has begun to follow the herd a bit more frequently. I couldn't get close enough to take photo for you without disturbing the group, so here is one from last years youngsters with one of the hinds. Another month or two and our calves this year will look like this.

If you want to try and see our red deer calves, you will need patience. One or two maybe be with the group at the back of the paddock, but will unlikely come over for the Keeper Talk. The others you will need eagle eyes, or maybe even binoculars, to try and pick them out where they are laid up in the grass. A top tip!.. not always, but usually they are tucked up near a patch of nettles. Good luck!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Little Owl Chicks


Our breeding pair of little owls, Robin and Nancy, have been extremely successful... 5 eggs were laid earlier this year, and all hatched! Nancy did a great job in rearing them, but we took them away at 2 weeks old so that we could rear and imprint them to become great educational owls.



We have homes lined up for them all, some already moved on and the others to go shortly, but we have decided to keep one... little "Dave"

Dave will be reared to be used alongside Tyrion as one of our meet and greet little owls, photographic superstars and maybe even join our flying team!

They are currently being looked after Izzy, so if you happen to visit on a day Izzy is working, you may be lucky enough to see them.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Photo of the Month: May 2017

"Running Otter" by Nicola Adzic

It was an absolute joy looking through the many photographs that have been shared over the last month... We normally see a lot, but May seemed to be even more popular with the photographers out there. Lots of really amazing photographs too, we could of easily shared many more than we have.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main attraction seemed to be our three wildcat kittens. Lots of photos of these beautiful kittens all over the internet already. Surprisingly, our hedgehogs cropped up a lot more than usual. Great to see, and hopefully many more with the photography days coming up over the next couple of months.

But in the end, we went for this lovely photo of "Emmy" the otter running, taken by Nicola Adzic (Nik nik9 on Flickr). It is almost as if the otter is leaping out of the photo and some great spume, you feel as if you are going to get wet looking at it.

Well done Nicola, your photo will be in our gallery next year, and you will be in with a chance of winning a photographic day here at the Centre.


"Tawny Owl" by Brett Watson

Here are some other photos that caught our eyes, including this beautiful portrait of Aluco. As always you can see more of the photographers pictures by clicking on the link in their individual names. 



A shy hedgehog during one of our photo days. 



All three kittens in one shot, playing out on the grass.


"Wildcat" by Emily Leonard

And nice to see some didn't ignore mum and dad in favour of the kittens. Macavity in the dandelion seed heads.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Lucy Leaving


It is time to say goodbye to one of our keepers, Lucy. Lucy has been with us for around 4 years, during which she has been a valuable member of our team, helping with the education and conservation work we do.

Over these years Lucy would of helped educate 1000's of school children about our British wildlife, and helped care for and form bonds with many of our animals... none more so than Tyrion, one of our little owls, who Lucy reared from a very young age.

Lucy has always shown a particular keen interest in the more direct conservation work we do, and it is this which she sees herself doing more of going in to the future. Therefore she has decided to leave the Wildlife Centre, allowing her to have the time to return to part-time study and work/volunteer part-time with local conservation and ecological groups.

We all wish Lucy all the very best for the future, and hope she will keep in touch to let us know how she is doing, and come back to visit us and all of the animals.