Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

British Wildlife Centre

9 January, 2011

Roe in the grassBack in September last year I finally got around to visiting the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, and have been meaning to write a blog post about it ever since.  So four months late but here it is.

The centre is home to over forty different animals from the British Wildlife, from the very small harvest mice to the large and magnificent red deer with his large antlers.

On first glance at the map you would not think it was that large a place to visit, but I found it easy to spend a few hours there.  As well as being able to wander around at your own pace there are a number of talks and feeding sessions that go on throughout the day and they are well worth a visit. 

Do a little danceIn particular it was fun to go and visit the red squirrel enclosure for the talk.  The keeper brought some seeds and nuts and the squirrels were bounding around their enclosure.  It was quite tough to get one to stand still long enough for a photograph, but if you had your camera ready there were lots of close up and fun shots to be had.

Sharing the enclosure with the red squirrel were the very cute Muntjac deer.  They spent a lot of time staying fairly hidden amongst the trees but we did manage to see them a little later in the day when it got quieter.

Me and my shadowOne of my favourite animals of the day were the Scottish Wild cats, particularly as they had some kittens!  They are very similar to a domestic tabby cat, with brownish stripey fur.  However, pure wildcats are getting more and more rare by the day as more get interbred, and there is a risk that these cats will become extinct.

Fox in the grassI first came to hear about the British Wildlife Centre whilst looking for photo workshops.  As the centre is only open to the public on weekends and holidays there were a number of workshops which run weekdays.  I had seen an advert for one talking about getting up close to photographing the foxes, which sounded fun.  However, having been just on a normal visitor day I don’t think it is necessary to pay for a photo experience day to get some nice photographs.  You get up close to the animals anyway, and can get some great natural looking shots – particularly when the keepers are around with food!

More photographs from my day at the centre on my Flickr set.


2 February, 2009

I woke up this morning to snow.  Okay, a regular occurence in Winter you’d think… but not around here.  Last time we’ve had snow that has settled like this was many years ago – the news is saying not for 18 years.  The photographer in me made sure I prepared my camera at the same time as my work bag this morning, and the big kid in me was dying to make a snow man… but instead I went for a snow cat!  Here’s a shot of my street this morning and my new friend:

My Street in the Snow
Snow Kitty

The New Forest Otter and Owl Wildlife Park

25 March, 2008

Yoga Position 103We’ve got the week off work but today’s weather forecast seemed the most promising for getting out, and so we went to the New Forest Otter and Owl Wildlife Park.  Entrance is currently £7.50 but we had a voucher for one free entry.  It very cold, but the sun did pop out a bit so we picked a reasonable day to go.  The park was quite quiet as it’s school term time so we could have a fairly relaxed look around.

Snowy OwlThere are three types of otter there – the Asian Short Clawed Otter, North American River Otter and the Eurasian Otter. The Asian Short Clawed were my favourite though as they were so playful.  There was a huge family group who made a lot of noise considering their size… especially when it got close to feeding time!

There were quite a lot of different species of owl – unfortunately it was hard to get any good photographs through the bars.  Some of them almost looked animatronic rather than real as they sat so still and stared!

Scottish Wild CatsAs well as the otters and the owls, as the name of the park suggests, there are quite a few other animals there including Scottish Wild Cats, deer, muntjac, lynx, badger, polecats, mice, wallabies, stoat, fox and wild boar.  The wild boar there had a new family on the scene.

We stayed for one of the feeding sessions – the park have about 4 or 5 different feeding sessions throughout the day where a keeper comes along and talks a little about the animals.  Baby BoarHad it been warmer we might have stayed a little longer, but the cold wind kept some of the animals tucked up out of sight and so we headed home after about an hour and a half.

More photographs from the park can be found on my Flickr set.

George Update

2 October, 2007

I’m pleased to report George is much better.  He finished his medications a few days ago and seems to be back to normal…well as normal as he was before, which as you can see by this photo of him in one of his favourite sleeping places isn’t that normal!  His appetite returned quite quickly which was lucky as otherwise giving him the meds might have been very difficult.  Hopefully he’ll be a little more careful with his green cross code in future.
Daft sleeping place!

Get well Georgey

23 September, 2007

Sleeping GeorgeGot home yesterday to find my cat, George, asleep on the bed and looking a bit sorry for himself. By the evening he hadn’t moved and hadn’t even asked for his dinner. I tried to give him a cuddle and he gave out a bit of a yelp so something was obviously up. On closer inspection we found all his claws were bashed down, he had grease on his feet and a scrape on his hind leg. He wouldn’t even purr for us or eat one of his favourite biscuits stuck right under his nose so we got really worried.

This morning he seemed no better and so I gave the emergency on call vet a ring. The vet asked us to bring him straight down to see him. He gave him a good check up. He thinks that it is likely he has had a run in with a car, but luckily has escaped doing himself too much damage. He explained that had George been hit on the head or top half it could have been extremely serious, if not fatal. However, it looks like he has had a lucky escape and not managed to break any bones. He’s pretty bruised though and obviously in pain so the vet has given him some pain killers and antibiotics to help him through it.

A few hours on and he seems to have brightened up so the pain killers have obviously helped. He’s finally managed to eat a little too. I do hope he gets some more appetite back though or it will be hard work giving him his medication over the next few days!

Happy Birthday George!

7 August, 2007

It’s my Georgey’s birthday today…he’s 7!  So in his honour here is a baby photo and a recent photo.
Peek a boo

Beautiful Roses

29 June, 2007

I woke up this morning to find Stef had bought me a dozen beautiful red roses. George was less than amused when I immediately got the camera out again to take more photo’s!

Not more photos

Cool Cat Cam!

6 June, 2007

Ever wondered where your cat goes when you’re not around? I’ve always joked that it would be cool to have a ‘cat cam’ for George so we could see what he’s up to. Today, a colleague sent me a link to Mr Lee.  Mr Lee has his very own cam and his owner has kindly posted some of the photographs from his trips.  I particularly like the cat meeting under the car.

Somehow I can’t imagine George letting me put a collar on him let alone a camera!

Crawling around the garden

14 April, 2007

Purple flowerI’m on call this weekend so couldn’t stray far from home so instead I took my camera out into my garden. The sun was out and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of colourful flowers I’ve got in the garden at the moment. I did get a couple of strange looks from my neighbours as at one point I was laying in my front garden trying some macro shots!


Yet gain I seemed to take rather a lot of photos which meant it took ages to decide which were the best of the bunch.

One thing I did find with the macro shots was that as I got the camera closer I had to keep changing my position so that I didn’t get shadows from the camera on the flowers.

My cat, George, even sat still for a few seconds and let me take some of him. It didn’t last long though before he was up and sticking his nose into the lens to give it a good sniff!

Trapped cat survives engine trip

11 April, 2007

I’ve personalised my Google homepage so that it shows me some of the top or most recent news stories from the BBC.  Just spotted that one of them is all about a cat who managed to survive a 15 mile trip inside a car engine!  Read the story here.

Cats are so amazing!  I got a ‘Cat Tales’ book in my Christmas stocking last year which was full of ex-news articles from the Sun newspaper all about cats that had done strange things, become heroes, survived long trips, etc. 

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