Sunday, 16 September 2012

You old Weasel!

Short of seeing the odd local fox slinking around your garden looking for a tasty titbit, British native mammals are elusive creatures.

For those eager to connect with our secret society of hedgerovians up close and personal, there is a place where hardy urbanites can go to see an example of the beautiful native wildlife these islands have to offer in a natural setting.
Halfway between London and Brighton in the village Lingfield (close to the renowned Lingfield Park Racecourse) The British Wildlife centre was our destination of choice last week to catch a glimpse of the mysterious Pine Marten, Weasel and Water Vole.
 
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Is it me or would the guy above left make an excellent Bond Villian with his white fang!

56 comments:

  1. How fun to see all the stealthy creatures! Is stealthy a word? Hmm. Anyway, I love all these beautiful faces!!! Is the pine martin the weasel looking fellow?

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    1. Yes Cindy, the Pine Martin is the large Weasely chap. Unfortuneately his portrait is a little grainy. I chose not to share the clearer photos I snapped of him mid-lunch, which were a little too graphic for teatime viewing!

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  2. Great photos Paul - the owl's eye is a beauty.
    We had a large badger in the garden last night. He was lit up by our security light, so we put our interior house lights out in order to enjoy watching him - naughtily digging up our lawn!!!

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    1. Not your beautiful new lawn Rosemary, oh no! Those badgers do know how to take advantage of their 'diplomatic immunity'!
      The owl is a beauty but sadly she has glaucoma in her right eye, so flying and hunting are very difficult for her.

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  3. Un endroit que j adorerais visitee,merci de la visite et bon dimanche ;o)

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  4. Great captures! I am drawn to the owls for whatever reason, so pretty and mysterious looking. Looks like a good time was had. Thanks for sharing, Paul! =)

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  5. beautiful place! lots of varmints around!

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  6. Fantastic photos - well worth the trip i'd say!

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    1. Certainly is worth the trip Phyllis the centre have an excellent team on hand who are very knowledgable.

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  7. Oh, so cute!!! Is that a beaver? I quite like him or her. Come out, come out....

    Great photos, Mr. Paul.
    Ciao
    Loi

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    1. The little cute one is a Water Vole Loi, the first time I have ever seen one, very timid little chaps and excellent swimmers.

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    2. I have never seen a water vole before.....never heard of it either!

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  8. Brilliant look at the wildlife centre.

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  9. Great photos of your native wildlife. I didn't notice the villain's white fang. Watch out for that fella! Are beavers natural to Britain? I guess I just thought Canada had claim to them. LOL Enjoy the week. Pamela

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    1. There has been a reintroduction program of Beavers into Scotland in recent year Pamela but we don't have them in the South. The sweet chap with the Beaverish face and piggy eyes is a Water Vole he is a much smaller creature.

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  10. Beautiful images and I love the guy with the fang. How funny.

    Helen xx

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    1. In my strange mind I gave him a Bond Villian accent "Aha, Mr Bond we have been expecting you!" :)

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  11. It is funny that your first picture is a chipmunk who looked exactly like the chipmunk who decided to socialise with me while my family were having lunch outdoors on a lovely sunny Sunday in Lake Muskoka (cottage country). The non-elusive chipmunk ran towards my feet and stayed under my chair. Of course, it made me scream, which made the chipmunk panic, but my family just told me rationally that "they are here first". So no sympathy at all for me! Which one is the Pine Martin? Why are they called Pine Martin? I hope you used longer camera lenses to take these pictures especially that grotesque green frog? This must be a fun wildlife trip for you.

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    1. I did laugh thinking of you screaming at the little chipmunk Pamela. The ginger creature in the first picture is a red squirrel, I think they are a little larger than a chipmink but then I've never seen a Chipmunk in the UK.
      The Pine Martin is photo number 10. He was larger than I expected. We interrupted him having his lunch, his table manners left a lot to be desired and when he saw us he try to bury his lunch so we left him in peace....I didn't fancy what he was eating anyway! Remember Pamela inside every frog beats the heart of a true prince and hes waiing for a little kiss kiss:)

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    2. You are hilarious Paul. I will remember that now about your Green "Frog Prince" in your photos above. I can't believe there are no chipmunks in the UK. We have some here. Running through our garden every morning. I will try to take a picture of it, from a distance, so that it will not come near me. :)

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  12. When the British settled here in the USA they brought some of your critters with them. "The Red Fox" being one!!! BUT I "DO,DO,DO" wish I could see your hedgehogs and that pointed eared squirrel on a daily basis. I would "EVEN" share my garden and bird seed with them! I already have miles and miles of "Hedges for your little hedgies"!
    Yes our chipmunks are much smaller than those squirrels of yours...
    NOW about that FANGED DEER??? That is a new one,hehe!!!
    I LOVED your pictures, and they would ALL be welcome here in my gardens... Thank you for sharing all these beautiful creatures...
    Have a wonderful week,
    Donna

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    1. Hello Donna, I am sure our Hedgehogs would adore living in your beautiful gardens, I know you would make them feel right at home. I'll put the word out among the local population on your behalf. Thanks for your visit, hope all is well. Paul

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  13. Wonderful photos from the wildlife center. I love all the critters. Great photos, have a great day!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, there certainly were lots of critters to love!

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  14. My goodness - is that an elusive 'red ' squirrel? I was beginning to think that they only existed amongst the pages of Beatrix Potter these days!
    Lovely images,
    Paula xxx

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    1. Aren't they just adorable Paula, unless of course they are rearranging the Tulip bulbs you just planted!

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  15. You have captured so many different and wonderful wildlife animals. Fantastic series!

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    1. Thank you very much Icy BC, glad you enjoyed it too:)

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  16. Hi Paul,

    This looks like an interesting visit! You captured the British wildlife wonderfully. Love 'the eye' :-)

    Enjoy your week!

    Madelief

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    1. It is a fascinating place Madelief, so much to see and learn about the little beasties.

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  17. This is really nice to see. Glad you took the pics. Lots of incredible critters around this place. A great education for people near or far to visit:)

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    1. Certainly is Chris, the staff give talks thorughout the day for those that wish to learn more.

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  18. Wow, how rich, yet elusive our wildlife is. I only ever see urban foxes and the odd hedgehog. Unfortunately, sometimes flat on the bypass :-( we get the odd heron land on the back of our boat at night. He's shy though and doesn't hang around for long. We have beautiful wildlife in the UK. That red squirrel is beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful spot with us :-)
    Di
    xxxxx

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    1. We didn't see any Hedgehogs that day Di, but we did stop the car to let a rather large one cross the road a few nights ago!

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  19. I enjoyed this posting, Paul. As an expatriate, I miss so many of these critters, but I miss the hedgehog the most.

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    1. Thanks Pam I'm glad you enjoyed the post, maybe we will feature Hedgehogs soon:)

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  20. Paul,

    What a beautiful place to visit. Funny how these little creatures which seem like such a pain as they are messing in our gardens but when in a place like this look so cute and cuddly.

    I had not seen some of these animals before. Thank you for sharing!

    Thank you so very much for my F&M picnic things. I have been meaning to email you but have had guests. Thank you for the beautiful give away I love it!

    Looking forward to learning more about your wreath company, when does the busy season start? And how far in advance to people need to order?

    Elizabeth

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    1. Glad you enjoyed our trip as much as we did and so happy you are pleased with your win Elizabeth.

      We have several non christmas related projects that keep us busy throughout the year and now the Magical Christmas Wreaths season has begun.

      We are already busy taking orders and planning festive projects in the UK and also international orders for our Candles are arriving.

      We are adding new products later this year and are really excited be launching our new candle for 2012 in November which is divine.

      We will peak in late November right through to Christmas Day.

      Have a lovely week Elizabeth.

      Paul

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  21. You choose a wonderful destination with this Wildlife Centre. So many nice animals, so many great photos!

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    1. Aren't they beautiful Pia. Many thanks for your lovely visit.

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  22. How wonderful to see all those creatures close up like that - living in the depths of the country we often come across wild animals and get sort of blase about it - but pine martens and red squirrels are certainly not on the list of things we've seen.

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    1. It was the first time we had encountered a Pine Marten too Elaine, so much bigger than I had previously imagined.

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  23. What a great place!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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    1. I agree Gary, they run a wonderful educational programme here with staff giving daily talks on the individual creatures they care for. It is also a popular destination during the week for schools to visit so that children who may have never had the opportunity to see such creatures can learn about the conservation of their habits.

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  24. What is the first picture It looks like a red squirrel.

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    1. It is a red squirrel Kendra, a red squirrel that was trying to jump on me!

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  25. Wonderful photographs, admiring the nature it is an unusual adventure. I am greeting

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  26. I never tire of watching animals. Great photos in this post as always! I like that you added the closeup of the owl's eye in to the collage of images especially.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I'm a huge fan of Owls, those big eyes get me every time. They were taking such good care of this particular Owl who unfortuneately had very bad eyesight.

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