A Photography Day at the British Wildlife Centre

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A photography day at the British Wildlife Centre is a great opportunity to enjoy some photography whilst learning more about the native wildlife of the UK.

 

My growing interest in wildlife photography has taken me to some incredible locations in the world. But it’s also opened my eyes to the photography and wildlife viewing opportunities closer to home. Whether it’s a morning with the deer in Richmond Park, a day with the birds and otters at the London Wetland Centre or a long weekend at the Farne Islands, there are endless opportunities to practice photography between long haul trips and learn more about the wildlife that calls the UK home.

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So when a friend invited me to join him at an invitation-only event run by Canon at the British Wildlife Centre in London, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it a more energising way to start the week than sitting in an office, it was a chance to see a presentation by a couple of professional wildlife photographers, experiment with some Canon equipment I hadn’t used before and of course, photograph some wildlife.

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After a morning of admiring the work and laid back and entertaining presentation style of award-winning photographer Danny Green, I attached my lens to the Canon 1D X I had borrowed for the day (fearful that returning to my 5D Mark III at the end of the day might feel like a return to economy after a business class flight) and headed outside. What a terrific opportunity this was to capture some great shots: the centre was closed to the public, I was using Canon’s top range camera body, we were in small groups with great vantage points in the dens and in the flight path of an owl and the weather was great – this should be easy right?

Wildlife photography is never easy!

But that’s what makes is so appealing and so rewarding.

You can have the best equipment in the world and be within metres of the wildlife. But you still need to apply the right settings, make the most of the light, focus on a moving subject and most importantly, capture something interesting and aesthetically pleasing.

I may not have achieved this with all of the wildlife I saw, but I definitely had fun trying.

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About the British Wildlife Centre

The British Wildlife Centre was created in 1997 with the aim of educating the public about native wildlife. It opens to the public on weekends and accommodates school visits and photography days during the week. Its philosophy is “conservation through education” and strives to increase the public’s interest in its protection and survival.  Visit its website for more information.

 

The Wildlife

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(Stoat)

*DID YOU KNOW?: The stoat is a member of the weasel family whose main source of food is rabbit

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(Otter)

*DID YOU KNOW?  The otter was on the verge of extinction in the 1960s due to polluted rivers, habitat loss and hunting, but has recovered in recent times.

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(Eagle Owl)

*DID YOU KNOW?  There have not been any Eagle Owls in the wild in the UK since the 18th century.

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(Fox)

*DID YOU KNOW? The fox buries its surplus food.

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(Barn Owl)

*DID YOU KNOW?:  Although the barn owl can be found in Africa, India, the Far East, Australia, the USA, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, the population in the UK is in decline due to loss of habitat and prey species.

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*DID YOU KNOW?:  Foxes in the wildlife centre can reach up to fifteen years, but those in urban areas only live 12-18 months, with most killed on roads.

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(Otter)

*DID YOU KNOW? The otter is the largest member of the weasel family.

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(Stoat)

*DID YOU KNOW? Stoat females produce a litter of 5-12 young

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(Otter)

*DID YOU KNOW? The male otter is called a dog and the female a bitch.

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(Tawny Owl)

*DID YOU KNOW? The tawny owl is common throughout Britain but does not exist in Ireland

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(Eagle Owl)

*DID YOU KNOW?  The Eagle Owl is the largest species of owl in the world.

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(Wildcat)

*DID YOU KNOW? Wildcats disappeared from Southern England in the 16th century and can only be found in the wild now in Scotland.  It is considered at risk of extinction.

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(Otter)

 *DID YOU KNOW? The otter can stay under water for up to four minutes.

Other wildlife you may see at the centre includes the adder, american mink, badger, bank vole, black rat, brown rat, buzzard, fallow deer, field vole, grass snake, grey squirrel, harvest mouse, hedgehog, house mouse, kestrel, mole, muntjac, pine marten, polecat, rabbit, red deer, red squirrel, roe deer, snowy owl, water vole, weasel, wood mouse, yellow-necked mouse

(* “DID YOU KNOW” facts sourced from the British Wildlife Centre website.)

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. It sounds like a fabulous place to visit, you got some great photographs! I’d love to see (and photograph!) foxes one day.

  2. I always love your photos Kellie, but these are also great…love the owls especially!

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