Thursday, 22 March 2018

Daenerys on Display

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn't she beautiful?.. yes, worth mentioning three times, as you may have been so caught up her striking looks that you didn't fully take in the first couple of sentances of this post. 

Do you remember Daenerys? She arrived from Wildwood Trust a couple of years a go as a youngster, and has been off display since. During that time we have settled her in and worked hard with her so that she hand feeds as well as our others. She is now of breeding age too, so we are keen to pair her up this season to see what happens. 

All this means it is time for her to step out on to display, and a new enclosure has been built just for her. Over the last couple of weeks we have dressed it up, and earlier this week introduced Daenerys to her new home.

Here it is, right next door to Hamish. Daenerys will live here until a couple of months before the mating season, and then we will have a think about rotating some of our pine martens around to set them up ready for the summer.

She is still shy, having only been in her new home for a couple of days, but it won't be long until she settles down and starts showing herself during the day. Here is a little bit of footage of her exploring on her first night, picked up by our trail camera.

And another of her in the early morning, enjoying the sun.

Isn't she beautiful?

Later this year we will be pairing her up with one of our males, Drogo, and then fingers crossed to see if we can breed some kits.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Keeper Talks

Lick your lips everyone, the summer season of talks is here...

Yes, it seems strange to call it our summer season of talks when spring hasn't even fully arrived yet, but these are the new "Keeper Talks" that usually last us through till our winter season at the end of October.

For those new to the Centre, the new talk schedule sees us add in three very popular animals which are just a little less active to star during the winter.

Hedgehogs are now at 1pm, replacing the polecat talk. Pine martens are at 3pm and Badgers are at 3.30pm. This means two extra talks every day for you all... aren't we good to you.

For those regulars who have visited over the years, note the badgers and pine marten times are slightly different this year to previous years. Just something we are trying out, and if it is no better, then we may well change back before the real summer season hits.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Adders Awaken

"Adder" by Bobs Macklow-Smith

Spring has sprung,
The adders have ris,
I wonder where my camera is...

At home unfortunately, but luckily for us, when the adders where seen out at the weekend, Bobs managed to take some great photos.

"Adder" by Bobs Macklow-Smith

The adders emerging from their winter brumation is always one of the things that makes me think, spring is on it's way. On Sunday, one of the males was seen up and about, this was the first sighting of the year, and he looked pretty good after his long sleep.

Since then, over the past couple of days, both the males have been seen up. The males usually stir first, with the females a few weeks after.

"Adder" by Bobs Macklow-Smith

They will soon shed, and then the mating season will soon be on us. This is when the males will begin to perform their "dance" while competing for the females.

Thanks to Bobs for these great close-up photos, and to see more of her adder pics... as well as many more of our animals here, follow the link in her name under the pictures above to go to Bobs flickr page.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Otter Cubs on Ice

The cold snap that hit us last week has gone, and the milder weather we have now really makes it seem like Spring is just round the corner. This will be welcome news for a lot of our animals, and will see a few more of our residents wake from their winter slumber. 

Our hibernating dormice, bats and hedgehogs should begin to stir. Our snakes will begin to think about emerging for the first time this year, and despite not hibernating, our badgers and squirrels do slow down in activity during the winter months... and so should begin to be seen more frequently. 

With this in mind, next weekend sees our new season of talks with Hedgehogs and Badgers added to the schedule, as well as the Pine Marten talk returning meaning two extra talks every day we are open for you to see. 

One animal that really enjoyed the cold last week though were our otters! I have mentioned before about them chasing each other under, over and through the ice, and last week was no different.

Elwood is used to this weather, having seen it all before. This can't be said for our otter cubs though, who on the first day of the frozen pond and with the snow falling weren't sure what to make of it all...

Both Harry and Beatrix would run after mum and dad as the leapt on to the ice, but the cubs would screech to a halt and stay on the bank.

It only took an extra day though, and then they were well at home on the solid ponds.

Great fun was had chasing mum and dad, and running back and forth over the ice...

Well, at least for Harry anyway. Beatrix was still very wary, and would come up to the ice, but often just stayed in the water by the edge waiting for her brother to come back to her.

Buster is an old pro at ice walking, wondering what all the fuss was about. The ice only lasted a couple of days, a real short spell compared to previous years, but they still made the most of it.

Don't forget, new talk schedule from next weekend... also, a date for the diary... our Members Evening this year will be on Saturday the 7th of July. More details on that nearer the time.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Photo of the Month: February 2018

"Harvest Mouse" by Marco Cinnirella

Brrr!.. What a cold few days we have had here. With more snow falling this afternoon, there may well be a small covering over the weekend for any budding photographers out there, keep in mind though that the last few days has seen any snow we have had disappear quite quickly. Either way, the otter ponds will probably still be iced over, and you will be able to enjoy the two cubs coming to terms with this new experience.

As for February, we had some lovely photos shared, some old and some new... and we went for this photograph of a harvest mouse taken by Marco Cinnirella on a photo day earlier this month to be our photo of the month for February.

Marco's picture will be in our gallery for 2019, and be in with a chance to win a photo day here at the Centre. Below you will see a few more photos shared, and to see more by Marco or the other photographers ,just click on the link in their names.

"Hedgehog" by Andre Neves

"Young Otter Cub" by Bett Atherton

"Running Fallow" by Bob Howell

"Weasel" by Philip Harris