There are around 100 British Mammals found in and around the British Isles. About a quarter of these however have been introduced or are vagrant or feral species. They range from the cute and cuddly to the stuff of horror movies and celebrity reality shows. Some of my photos have been taken at the British Wildlife Centre. This fantastic venue offers photographers unique opportunities to get really close up to many species. Specialist days are frequently organised for small groups when the Centre is not open to the General Public.
A few of these photos, such as the otter, were taken from a hide. In this case at Lackford Lakes that is owned and managed by the Suffolk Wildife Trust. Yet others have been taken in the open like the stoat and deer. Mammals have a great sense of smell and so to get really close up and observe natural behaviour it maybe necessary to find some means of directing your bodily odours away from the subject. Being upwind is of course essential but miniHides can be arranged to pipe these scent trails away from the immediate location. Fortunately this reliance on smell does mean that for some species it is perfectly possible to observe natural behaviour by keeping still up against a tree.
Camera Equipment for British Mammals
Obviously choice of lens is most often determined by the size of the subject and its ability to detect you. I like to use my 500mm whenever possible to minimise disturbance. There are however plenty of opportunities to use smaller lenses for smaller species. This group includes some of our most endearing mammals like the dormouse and tiny harvest mouse. There are also plenty of opportunities to use wide-angle lenses. By including a significant amount of the surrounding environment a real sense of place can be obtained.
As you would expect British mammals occur throughout a wide range of habitats. There are 22 species of cetaceans found in and around our coast of which 2 are classed as native. There are 17 native bat species and 30 native terrestrial mammals.