One of the first things we did on our very hot holiday back in July was visit the north landing. This is a section of the Yorkshire coast just along from Bempton cliffs which is home to many seabird colonies. We had not been anywhere over the first weekend as it had been too hot so we decided to go for a little walk after our Sunday dinner over to the landing.
It was a nice little walk, not too far from where we were staying but one of the roads was a very long straight road that seemed to take forever to get down so we could go to the landing.
At the North Landing the first thing you come too is the car park which has a restaurant opposite and a slip way which leads down to the beach. We decided to wander down to the beach and have a look for any seaglass or cool shells, there wasn’t much down there and we had told my dad we would walk over to the cliffs with him so he waited for us to get back up.
By the time we got back up my mum and sister wanted to go home so they headed off and my dad and I went over to the cliffs. It was a narrow path and I wasn’t expecting much but my dad wanted to investigate so I said I would go with him.
My dropping energy levels suddenly raised as soon as we got to the cliffs as I was filled with excitement of seeing my first ever puffin! One puffin, two puffins, three puffin, is that another puffin. Seven puffins and an hour later we followed my mum and my sister home.
I could have stayed watching them for so much longer it was such an amazing experience to see them!
The pictures I got from this very first visit were absolutely shocking as they were so far away from the cliff we were on but still, they are mine and I love them!
Back in August/September time Chester zoo announced that they had three beautiful fossa pups born to their female. Since I had moved to Yorkshire for work when Michael came up to visit me we decided to head over to the zoo to see if we could see the pups for ourselves.
As soon as we arrived at the zoo we beelined straight for the fossa’s but they were hidden away in their den. We then wandered around the rest of the zoo seeing The jaguars, flamingos, penguins, giant otters and so much more on the green section.
We then headed over to the yellow section seeing the rhinos, hunting dogs and the aardvarks before heading over to the islands where we saw lots of different birds in the walkthrough enclosures as well as the caiman.
Throughout the day we kept venturing back to the fossa’s and every time we got there the volunteer would tell us that we had just missed them being active by about 5-10 minutes. At one point we had ventured back to see them and they had already gone back to sleep so we headed over to the giraffe house and saw Stanley the baby giraffe. He was sitting in his bed and was so small compared to all the other giraffe.
We did not give up though and we eventually saw them awake towards the end of the day. Whilst we had been waiting for them to wake up a cheeky sifaka had come over to the window and I was completely amazed as we don’t often get to see them out but they were enjoying the berries from a tree close to the public viewing area.
Back to the fossa’s, they were adorable and put on quite the show. Chasing each other up trees, jumping off of branches and scaring mum! We managed to get some really lovely images of them all.
Overall it was well worth the 1hr 30 minute drive and I cannot wait to go back again soon!
A few weeks back Michael came up to visit me in Yorkshire and we decided to take a trip over to Ponderosa Zoo. My first impressions of the zoo is that it is very small and mostly has children’s playgrounds but the animal enclosures form a square and seem to follow the perimeter of the zoo.
We did manage to get some nice photos whilst we were there as we done three laps around the zoo trying to see all the animals. Our favourites were the serval (Venus) and the highlands wild cats.
they had some primates as well and we watched the squirrel monkeys, tamarins and lemurs for quite a whilst as they caused mischief within their enclosures.
I really liked the nocturnal house, seeing the cloud rats and the kinkajou was fun, especially as there are animals I work with at my collection. Outside the nocturnal house is the porcupine enclosure, this was actually one of the first enclosures we went to and it was rather funny as we couldn’t see the porcupines at first and it turns out they were sitting at the bottom of the wall we were looking over, I only noticed they were down their because I moved slightly and saw some whiskers.
We spent a lot of time in the Cafe, drinking hot drinks and eating Ice cream as I had not seen Michael in a few weeks so we were chatting about all different things.
Overall it was a lovely day and I would recommend going if you need to kill a few hours but it not a whole day trip.
Sewerby estate was so lovely and we picked such a wonderful day to go and have a walk. On the estate is a large gardens with a beautiful house which overlooks the sea and attached is a private zoo collection.
The house was lovely and the gardens allowed for a lovely walk, we sat in one of the walled gardens and enjoyed the sunshine before we went into the house to have a look around, it was a bit more like a museum than an old fashioned home and some of the rooms had been converted into the wildlife photography of the year exhibition which I enjoyed seeing.
now for the zoo bit! I wasn’t expecting much because I knew it would be small but it was such a nice little zoo. There was such a range of species from domestic sheep and miniature donkeys to lemurs and racoon dogs, they even had penguins!
We had such a nice time wandering around and once we had visited the zoo we walked over to the cliffs with a nice Ice cream and found somewhere to sit.
We spent the whole day exploring and eventually made our way back to the car before heading back and finding something yummy to eat for dinner!
Definitely worth a visit if you are over that way!
Scarborough was one of the first places we visited on our holiday in Yorkshire, we wanted a day at the beach (well, as much at the beach that a non-beachy family can be.) We wandered around watching the kittiwakes nesting in the cliffs, looking out at the ocean, going in the arcades and looking in all the shops.
We had taken a packed lunch and we ended up sitting overlooking the beach whilst we ate, watching the donkeys giving donkey rides and afterwards we went up to pet them.
We went into one arcade and we played air hockey, it was me versus my sister which was very amusing. I won in the end but it was just shear luck.
Afterwards we ventured up to the shops, we climbed up a very steep hill with some lovely artwork on it and we found some charity shops that sold stamps so I brought some animal themed ones for my collections. We then moved on to a big market hall, there was a fruit and veg stall, a café and a bakery among other craft shops and we decided to sit down and have a cup of tea. For a change the tea was actually hot so we decided to go for a wander whilst my dad sat at the table.
Once we were finished in the shops we headed back down towards the beach and to the car park. Somewhere along the way we got some Ice cream and then we found a bench to perch on whilst my mum and dad went for a walk.
At some point we joined them because it looked like they were watching something in the water and it turned out to be a harbour porpoise! I was so happy we decided to walk down otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. Apparently they get quite a lot of cetaceans around that part of Scarborough.
It was a really lovely day and we had a nice walk and it was finished off with such a special treat!
Graduation seems like a life time ago now but back in July I graduated from Bangor university BSc Zoology with marine zoology. What a crazy three years that was!
My family and I travelled up to Bangor and stayed for a few nights. My graduation was on the 7th July at 4pm and our family holiday was starting on the 8th July. We stayed up for a few nights so we were up in time for the ceremony and we were also able to do some exploring.
We went down to the pier and walked along their and I had taken my camera so was able to take some pictures of the animals and birds we saw down there. Ducks, cormorants and grebes flew past or were feeding below us and at the time of our visit there were a few different different species of jellyfish. Being the summer season there were many families crabbing off of the pier pulling up green shore crabs.
We went into the town centre and drove over to Anglesey. On the day of my actual graduation ceremony we had a late breakfast and then we got all dressed up so we could get their with plenty of time to get my gown and find our seats.
I met up with my friends and we took lots of pictures and overall it was such a wonderful day.
In the evening we had a celebratory meal and went to the antelope pub which is next to the Menai bridge, the food was amazing and we even had a cheeky cocktail to celebrate all my hard work.
At this point I already knew that I was going to be going to work as a zookeeper as I had recently been offered a new position in a zoo in Yorkshire (But more about that after I have played catch up.)
In my opinion, and that of many others Chester Zoo is one of the best zoo’s here in England. As a student in North Wales I would regularly travel over to Chester zoo to see what animals there were and to photograph them exhibiting their natural behaviour. This year my university graduation was right on top of our family holiday in Yorkshire so on the way over we decided to stop off at Chester zoo as my sister had never been before.
We walked around the whole zoo and I showed my family all of my favourite animals.
We walked a different way around the zoo to the one I normally do with Michael which made a nice change. We started with the elephants and then we headed towards the monkey house. From here we saw the rhinos, the hunting dogs and the aardvarks before heading around to the Island where we saw the tree kangaroo and looked unsuccessfully for the tiger.
From here we wandered back down to the Andean bears and across the bridge to the lions and jaguars. We then cut across to see the flamingos, and penguins before finding our way over to the fossa and the sifakas.
As we were heading to the exit we stopped off to find the giraffes and I got very excited when I saw the Okapi in the outside enclosure as I so rarely get to see them.
Overall we had a short but lovely day at the zoo and we saw lots of amazing animals, some of which my family have not seen before!
Back in June, Michael and I visited Wingham Wildlife Park. I had an interview for a position over there so we travelled over together and whilst I completed my interview, michael had a nice walk around the zoo.
I got a chance to work with their giraffes and blesbok whilst Michael saw the carnivores, the red pandas and the meerkats.
It was such a nice day and Michael was able to take some really lovely pictures.
I can remember that some of his favourite animals from that day were the Arctic wolf, the tigers and the wild cat. He also really liked the howler monkeys and he repeatedly told me they had a baby (which was very cute!)
I remember that after my interview I had a really bad headache and we still needed to travel back home so we only walked around for a little while and I was really happy to see the baby meerkats as well as go into a tropical house walk through enclosure which michael had not yet been into.
We left shortly afterwards but the zoo itself was pretty awesome and I really hope we get to visit again in the future.
I love going fossil hunting. It is one of my favourite things to do. Michael and I headed over to search for fossils at Walton on the naze and we were looking for shark teeth, vertebrae and ray plates to name a few.
Summer is not the best season for fossil hunting, but we still wanted to go. We normally go in winter as the storms erode the cliffs which mean there are more fossils to find.
This time around we found some shark teeth as we sat for hours going through the shingle. I love it when other people randomly find shark teeth right in front of us, especially when they are least expecting it. It is so lovely to see.
I am hoping to go fossil hunting a bit more and find a few more things. I am looking forwards to going to Yorkshire and am hoping to find some more ammonites, belemnites and crinoid fossils over there.
As well as finding lots of cool fossils we treated ourselves to a nice ice cream and we got a drink in the cafe. Michael had his camera with him, and a very kind (fellow) birdwatcher told us about some kestrels that were fledging from their nest on the tower. We ended up spending lots of time watching the juvenile kestrels as they tried to either get back to mum in the nest or find a perch and pluck up the courage to head out into the big wide world. Either way we got some nice photos and made some wonderful memories.
One of the things I wanted to try and do whilst I was studying in Wales is find some puffins. I had spent three years up there and never been anywhere to go and find any.
One weekend my parents came up to visit and we decided to drive over to South stack at Holyhead and we went for a walk to go and find the puffins. I had been to south stack a few times before and it is a lovely place to visit but we had never been over when it was puffin season. It was a very windy day and we walked down the steps to lighthouse and my dad had his binoculars.
We were watching all of the seabirds, there were gulls, kittiwakes and razorbills and all of a sudden, my dad said, “look over there”. I had no idea where he was pointing to but eventually managed to see a tiny speck of orange.
This is the first time I have ever seen a Puffin and I was so excited. They were quite far away from us, but it was still pretty spectacular to be able to say I saw them.
I cannot wait to go out and do some more exploring and hopefully get to see some more puffins in the future!