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.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2017!

Don't forget we are open to the public next week from Tuesday the 27th - Monday the 2nd. So if you fancy walking of your Christmas dinner, or just escaping the family for a while, why not come and see us. No guarantees of course, but you may even get to see our little otter cubs... they made their first appearance the other day with mother Emmy moving them from one holt to another.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Otter Cubs

"Otter cubs with Matt" by Alan K Jones

Some exciting news to share with you all, as we enter this festive season. We have been keeping this one a little quiet, but have dropped a couple of hints in recent weeks... We have two otter cubs born in our main otter enclosure!

These two new cubs were born during the October half term week, and once confirmed we left them to it with mum "Emmy" to look after. A week a go though they were due a health check, just to make sure they were both OK, so our vet Alan Jones came in to help and at the same time we micro chipped them, and sexed them as one male and one female. 

They are now about 7 weeks old, and so it won't be long until they start emerging from their holt for the first few times. If I were to guess, I would say we would see them out at some point next week... possibly even the end of this week... but their timing could not be better, as I hope for a lot of sightings the week after Christmas when we are open to the public. 

Here is mum, Emmy, on the ice. She is an experienced mum having reared many cubs before, so these two new little ones are in good hands/paws. Emmy is already making sure Elwood, the dad, is keeping his distant, despite him being no trouble at all!

Here is Elwood. In the wild, the male would usually have no part in the upbringing or rearing of the cubs at all, but in previous years here Elwood really has been a modern otter father. Elwood has in the past taken food back to the holt for Emmy and the cubs, and even helped with the swimming lessons. Perhaps best of all to see though is when the cubs are a little bit older, and Elwood seems to have great pleasure in playing with them in the water.

We will update you with news as they start to be seen out of their holts.