Tuesday, 24 January 2017

BWC 2016: Photo of the Year

"Wildcat Kittens" by Bob Matthews

Congratulations to Bob Matthews, who was selected by Professional Photographer Heather Angel, to win our photo of the year 2016 with this lovely image of Kendra and her kittens.

Heather chose this photo above, saying:

"It is always difficult to get an animal family portrait without one individual's face masked by another body or, even worse, a youngster running out of shot just as the shutter is released. Bob Matthews' image of "Wildcat Kittens' has achieved an endearing image of Kendra and her three kittens. Capturing all kittens in contact with their mother conveys her love for them and their dependence on her. I particularly like the way they are grouped together in a diagonal line, which enhances the composition. Well done and congratulations Bob!"

Well done Bob, you win a photographic day here at the Centre, and your photo will be displayed with the 11 other chosen photos of last year in our coffee shop gallery.

If you would like to see more of Bob's photographs, follow this link in his name above to his flickr page.

Many thanks again to Heather Angel for being our professional judge for last year's competition. To see some of Heather's work take a look at her website by following this link: Heather Angel Photographer You will get to see some stunning images taken from around the world, and a great blog offering tips for your own photography.
If you like what you see there, why not follow her on twitter. Heather posts regular updates under @angelantics
And if you're more of a smartphone kinda person, then Heather had a new Instagram channel where you can see a selection of her worldwide images.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Otter Cub Update

Our otter cubs have been growing bolder by the day, and over the past couple of weekends have even made brief appearances after some of the keeper talks. I have tried to get some pictures for you to see, but... I have fallen short... I don't know, lack of time and I don't even know if I know my landscapes from portraits these days.

These were the best I could get, both taken shortly after a keeper talk, and both after Emmy took some food back to the holt to try and tempt them out... hey look, two cubs in the photo above!

"Otter Cub with Mum" by Moi Hicks

The good news though is that some of our members have been staking out the pond, and gone home with some lovely photographs of the youngsters. Like this one above taken by Moi Hicks, mother Emmy on the left taking one of the cubs down to the waters edge... and a great reflection!

"Otters" by Chloe Holland-Skinner, age 11

And how about this great photo by Chloe, age 11. Last weekend, shortly after our deer talk, I headed back past our otter pond in the rain... and a few brave souls were stood watching Emmy move her cubs from one holt to another. I don't think there was a camera between any of us, but a few people had their phones out and Chloe managed to capture this special moment.

You will probably see more images of our cubs pop up on the usual photo sharing sites over the next few weeks, or of course... come and see them for yourselves in person.

Friday, 13 January 2017

BWC in the Snow?..

Well, kind of... We had a small, very small, dusting of snow here last night. Not really nearly enough from a photographic point of view, but still it was there.

It is thawing fast though, so for those possibly getting excited about the weekend and photographing our animals in the snow... you will most likely disappointed.

But!.. on the positive side of things, out otter cubs are continuing to get bolder every day. Both youngsters are venturing out a little bit more, and a little bit further under the close supervision of mum. We have even seen them playing with each other on their own once, until scampering back to the holt when something spooked them.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

December 2016: Photo of the Month

"Poseur" by Mike Doyle

The colder, quieter days of December don't seem to have stopped the buddy photographers showing up. In fact, I think we have seen more photographs shared this past month than we have in other recent months. A really good variety of animals too!

This month I picked this lovely photo of Sylvester, one of our Stoats, to adorn our coffee shop gallery wall. Our stoats are extremely difficult to photograph, they move so fast and rarely stop still for more than a few seconds. So for Mike Doyle to be able to capture one so beautifully, and in such a great pose, was no mean feat. Well done Mike!

As always, to see more of Mike's photographs, then follow the link in his name to his flickr account. 

"Tree Heron" by Etienne Fournier

Some other great photographs were shared in this last month of 2016. It was really nice to see a lot of pictures of our wild wildlife, out on our nature reserve. My favourites being a series of herons by Etienne Fournier in some superb lighting.

"Fox" by Geraint Parry
Geraint Parry took this great photo of one of our new foxes, Ted, settling in well. A classic yawning shot.

"Thieving Squirrel" by Life's a Journey
A fun one here from "Life's a Journey" over on flickr, one of our mischievous squirrels trying to steal some boot laces for their drey.

"Otter on Ice" by Zena Saunders

And we had to include at least one nice ice shot. This great photo from Zena of one of our otters on the ice.

Well done to all the twelve monthly photos form last year. This year, professional photographer Heather Angel will be selecting her favourite from the 12 to win a photographic day here at the BWC. We will announce this before the month is up, and then start looking at 2017.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all, hope 2017 turns out to be a good one!

So what's new at the BWC?.. Well, the star of the show over the past few days we have been open surprisingly has not been our otter cubs, but has been one of our stoats, Susie.

Susie is moulting in to an ermine coat at the moment, that is she is turning white for the winter. She still has a little patch of brown on her back that will possibly moult out, but I think she will keep the brown mask around her eyes.

Susie has caused a lot of stir, particularly among some of our regular photographers, meaning our otter cubs have had to take second place... they have been out though, and a couple of days a go Emmy even had one of the cubs out on the near bank after the keeper talk.

Today is the last day we are open for the Christmas period, so keep in mind we are now back to weekend, school holiday and bank holiday openings. But if you can't make it out this afternoon, then I am sure Susie will still be white for a few weekends and our otter cubs will only get bolder as the year goes on.