Spring Projects Update

May 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I have not updated this blog for a month.   Since going to Havergate Island in early April I've been quite busy going out taking photos.  I'm now trying to update the website with some of the photos I've taken.  I thought I would let you know what I've been up to. 

Cabarceno Nature Park

At the end of April I took a trip with a friend and fellow photographer to northern Spain to visit to Cabarceno Nature Park. Cabarceno Nature Park is a huge wildlife park set in an old quarry.

The sheer size of the place is staggering, you need a car to drive around in. With many wildlife parks and zoos backgrounds are usually wire fences but at Cabarceno no fences can be seen in some places even with a wide angle lens. The landscape within the nature park is beautiful, from cliffs and stone stacks that just come out of the ground like huge teeth.

One of the highlights was 45 minutes of wild Black Kites.  At closing time they try to steal food from the display birds whilst they are being fed.


Ring Tailed Lemur

Whipsnade Zoo

One of my favourite places to visit is ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire. It's a zoo set on top of the Downs where the animals have large enclosures. Its not on the scale of Cabarceno but its probably as close as you can get size wise in the UK. One of the small projects I have recently set myself has involved Ring-Tailed Lemurs. They have a fantastic walk through enclosure where you can get really close to them. Each time I visit I've been trying to get better images of them, slowly they seem to be getting better. I've been trying to get portrait images but also trying to capture their behaviour too.

Whilst talking to the volunteers they let me know about the recently born wild boar piglets.  There was 4 piglets that were a week old and 9 piglets that were only a couple of days old.  There are 2 fences that are 1-2 metres which makes photography a little more difficult.  Luckily the piglets were still small enough to line up in the holes of the second fence.




British Wildlife Centre

One of my favourite captive animal places to visit is The British Wildlife Centre in Surrey. They specialise in British wildlife from foxes to badgers, otters to wildcats to name a few. Having been a few times before I knew what to expect and I'm starting to get better photos now. The morning started well with the Red Squirrels being quite active but I did not get the photos I wanted to get. The first fox talk gave us some great opportunities to capture some images that looked more natural.

By the afternoon the weather changed to heavy rain, thankfully the centre does supply umbrellas.  With a karabiner and elastic cord we managed to fashion together a method of attaching them to our camera backpacks so we could carry on shooting.  This is one thing I have learnt in the last year, there is no such thing as bad weather for photography, just different photo opportunities.  My favourite image of the day came just before the end of the day whilst it was still lightly raining.



Water Vole

Cromford Canal, Peak District

Seeing Water Voles in the wild has been a trip I have been planning with friends for a couple of months. Having located the right area for them we took an early morning trip to find them. Having started out at 4am we arrived at the canal for 6am. We soon saw our first Water Vole within minutes of arriving but soon we didn't see another one for over 90 minutes. Thankfully our perseverance paid off and we followed them throughout the rest of the morning.


Water Vole








After breaking for lunch and a trip to visit nearby dippers we returned later in the afternoon to search the other end of the canal. We did manage to see a few more, one of the highlights was following a baby Water Vole. Although it was a very long day from 4am to 10pm it was worth it for the time we had with them and the number of Water Voles we saw.




Looking Foward to Summer

With most of my spring plans now completed I'm looking forward to my summer plans.  The highlight of these is my first visit to Skomer Island, Wales to see the Puffins.  Having seen my first Puffin at Bempton Cliffs last year I've been looking forward to this trip for a while.  

The only problem with planning so many photo trips is the fact I'm starting to get quite a big backlog of images to process.  In some ways this is a good thing as it gives me something to do when the weather turns again. 




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