Thursday, 30 January 2014

BWC Photo Comp 2013: Runners Up

Okay, so here they are... It is time to announce the winners and runners up of last years BWC Photographic Competition. In previous years we have spread the announcements out over a few posts, one for each category, but this year we will just do the two. Today we will show you the runners up and then on Monday we will announce the category winners... leaving the overall winner to be announced at the end of next week.

Many thanks once again to Danny Green for selecting his favourites out of the categories, and great thanks to all who entered and helped support the competition over the past year.

So, on to the runners up...

Animal Portrait Runner Up

"There you are!" by rob'81 - flickr

Animal in their Habitat Runner Up

 "Red fox, Frodo, hides behind trees" by crowlem - flickr

Animal in Motion Runner Up

 "42/52 Run!" by wacka quacker - flickr

Animal and their Keeper Runner Up

 "Leonie and Flo" by dap's images - flickr

Fauna Fun Runner Up

 "Thith thalmon ith thalty" by gus h - flickr

Junior Runner Up

 "Red fox" by km-photography98 - flickr

Congratulations to the runners up, who will all be displayed in our gallery in the coffee shop over the coming year.

The category winners will be announced on Monday, with the overall winner being shown at the end of next week. Keep an eye on the blog around mid February for news on our photo gallery going forward!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Wildcats on Hiatus

It won't be long until our wildcats start to think about breeding. Last year we had good success with both of our pairs producing healthy litters. One of our kittens has been donated to Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay to help keep their kitten of last year company, but this still leaves us with 9 wildcats at the Centre.

They have been difficult to re-home this year, and so the decision has been made to take a year out from breeding them and see how things stand next year. With all of our owls currently taking up our off display pens while their new aviaries are being built, this means we have had to tackle our cat problem from a different perspective. Having talked to our vet at great length, and not wanting to neuter any cat which may have potential for future breeding, we have decided to put the females on a contraceptive pill. Once our off display pens are free once again, we will be able to separate the cats until a time in which we can move them on to other collections.

Despite the disappointment of lack of kittens this year, wildcat conservation looks like it really could be moving in the right direction in 2014 with the plans I have heard about. I will mention more about these over the coming months.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

New Red Squirrel

Apologies to you all for the lack of posts this past week, but we have been extremely busy! The continuation of heavy rain has caused a few problems... nothing that has affected the animals, and nothing we haven't been able to cope with, but all things that take time to sort out or frustratingly make normal routines longer to do!

So what is new? Well this past week I did manage to find time to collect a new male red squirrel from Wildwood Trust in Herne Bay. He will be added to our breeding program in the spring, and hopefully sire some kittens which may be used for some exciting release projects we have lined up... more about these over the course of the year.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

BWC Photo Comp: "Animal Portraits" Shortlist

OK, here is the one many of you have been waiting for, our shortlist for the "Animal Portrait" category. As previous years it was our most entered section with nearly 250 photographs submitted!

A wide range of animals where taken this year for this section, with no clear animal leading the way, but I am sure you will agree there are some great photos here. 

As with all the sections, you can see all the photos submitted through flickr over on our flickr group page linked to the right. Unfortunately we are unable to show you all the photographs we received via email, unless they were shortlisted.

Danny Green will select his favourite photographs from each category, which will be announced around early February. The winners of each category receive a years membership to the wildlife centre.

As I have mentioned before, please do have a look at Danny's websites to see some of his photography. He is one of the best wildlife photographers out there, and has a strong interest in photographing our wonderful British wildlife really showing them off to their fullest! Danny also offers workshops and days out in hides around the country to give you the best opportunities to photograph some of your favourite British animals.


 "Badger profile" by tenpinphil - flickr

 "Foxy Flo" by flower snow - flickr

 "Grass Snake" by karenj2000 - flickr

 "OK, you caught me, I just got out of bed" by casamacca - flickr

 "Polecats do stand still occasionally" by caldwell creations - flickr

 "Red squirrel" by pad p - flickr

 "Red squirrel" by westhamwolf - flickr

 "Snowy owl in winter" by Ray Kilhm - email

 "There you are!" by rob'81 - flickr

"Water vole close-up" by old-man-george - flickr

Monday, 6 January 2014

BWC Photo Comp: "Animals in their Habitat" Shortlist

All that is left for the Photo Competition short lists are the two most popular categories, the two that always get the most entries. First up is the "Animals in their Habitat". Once again, professional wildlife photographer Danny Green will be choosing his favourite images from these remaining categories, which will be announced around the turn of this month.


"Adder in gorse" by Ian Rentoul (Ian Rentoul Photography) - flickr

 "Eye spy" by rob'81 - flickr

 "My pumpkin house" by andew winter photography - flickr

 "Otter" by mark_rutley - flickr

 "Otter island" by Peter G Trimming - flickr

 "Pine marten" by wendysalisbury - flickr

 "Red fox, Frodo, hides behind trees" by crowlem - flickr

 "Snake in the grass" by tenpinphil - flickr

 "Watch out mouse" by izzy's-photos - flickr

"Watching you" by rob'81 - flickr

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year to you all, and here's wishing you all have a great 2014 from all of us at the Centre! I thought I would post a nice summery image to brighten the day during this very dull, wet and windy few days/weeks we are having.

2014 will be a big year for us with quite a few things happening. From now on we are open every weekend of the year! Most of you already know about our new aviaries being built, but we also have plans for a "Nature Trail" aimed at younger children, and hopefully able to be enjoyed by all ages...and after the delay from last year due to bad weather, we hope to be able to complete our "Kingfisher Bank" and finally build our new "Reptile Pens" for the other native species.

We are also now open every weekend of the year and will not be having our winter break, and still open local school holidays with school trips and photography days taking place during term times.

You will be able to keep up with all the news on this blog... I haven't forgotten about our little keeper post which will see the light at some point this month, and of course we still have two categories in the photo competition to announce the short listed entries.

Did you know we will now be open every weekend for 2014?.. This means an additional face will join the keeping team to help all year round, rather than just the summer period. There will be a change to the way we do our photo competition too. More will be announced in February, but it will be much more relaxed and accessible.

Oh, and I nearly forgot... remember... we are now