Day three of my holiday was mainly centred around a visit to the Durrell Wildlife Park. I’m not especially a fan of taking pictures of animals that are in zoos, primarily because you can usually see all the fences and other man made objects inside the enclosures and to me it kind of defeats the object of taking pictures of animals. Despite this I took my camera to see if I could make anything from the visit. In the end I think I came away with some quite nice photos, some looking much more natural than others.
Durrell Wildlife Park, commonly known as Jersey Zoo, was founded by Gerald Durrell in 1958, it is the home of over 130 different species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. It largely concentrates on the protection of rare and endangered species, and serves as a conservation site for some of the islands native bird species which make use of the large selection of nest boxes located around the site.
Some of the larger species at the wildlife park include Gorillas, Orang-utans and bears although most of the animals currently kept are smaller, consisting of various types of mammals and the jewels of the forest enclosure which is home to tropical bird species. Some of the smaller animals such as the Gentle Lemur and Golden Lion Tamarin are free to explore the forested parts of the park at their own leisure, footpaths wander through their territories and you can often see them jumping from branch to branch over head.
One exhibit that did throw up some surprises was the bat enclosure. My perception of bat size was always of the smaller variety that we commonly get in the UK, although I realised some species in other parts of the world grew larger I didn’t realise they could grow up to a 6-foot wing span, turning them more into a pterodactyl than a bird. Unfortunately in the Orang-utan enclosure I was unable to see the recent baby, it’s mother was keeping it far from site up in one of the shelters her back turned to any prying eyes.
After visiting the zoo I went to the coast and had a little explore along the beach and rocks. I could hear a really high pitched bird and wanted to find out what it was, and if possible get some shots of it. On the way around I got a couple of interesting photographs. The one above was taken with my 50mm lens, I wanted to experiment with the depth of field as I haven’t had too many opportunities as of yet. It’s amazing the effects that can be achieved and how soft the background looks compared to the crispness of the foreground.
This was the bird that I was looking for, an Oyster Catcher. After many many attempts to get closer to it standing on the rocks I decided to settle with an in flight image. I’m really pleased with how this turned out because even though it was a sunny day the sun was going behind the trees and this area was considerably darker so I thought the images may be out of focus. There was a pair of Oyster Catchers and I think they had a nest on the rocks I was standing on, they kept circling around and squawking at me, so I left them in peace and headed back the way I had come before the tide cut me off.
An opportunity to get a silhouette shot arose so I snapped it up!
Some of the homes on Jersey are amazing and they have such brilliant coastal views. I really liked the setting of these houses and they had really easy access down to the beach to take advantage of the warm couple of weeks the UK has recently been experiencing.
Overall I’m really pleased with the photos that I got, despite some of them coming from the zoo. It was a good day to take some slightly different photos than I normally try to achieve, which in the end is what the holiday was all about. I will have another post up soon with some more photography. Thanks for stopping by.