Tropical Wings wins the day.
Today I headed out with two destinations in my head: Hanningfield Reservoir and Tropical Wings. On arriving at the reservoir I had a quick look around and although there wasn’t anything wrong with it, it didn’t have the feel I expected. Thats when I headed off to Tropical Wings.
Now, for those of you who don’t know about Tropical Wings, you can find out more here, but in a nutshell it is a place that I had been trying to get to for a little while and with it being only 10 – 15mins from the reservoir, it was the obvious choice. I also knew I would be photographing subjects that I hadn’t before.
Wandering into the building I was greeted with a warm welcome and pointed in the direction of the Big Bugs and Beasties which turned out to be a very positive start. In the area there were numerous reptiles and insects that were amazing and though they all caught my eye the two below (Blue Tongue Skink and Bearded Dragon) proved to be very photogenic:
I then headed towards the furthest section in the main part of the zoo, and worked my way back passing Capybara, Wallabies, Ring Tailed Lemurs and my favourite, the Meerkats. Getting to the Meerkats, I decided to spend some time (a good 10 minutes) just looking at them and watching their movements before taking any images. I figured by doing this, I could see where their favourite spots were and where the best angles would be. Judging by the images below, this proved to be very beneficial:
Making my way to the aviary area, I realised that it would be a little tricky to not get the enclosures in the way, so after trying some different techniques decided to manually focus and then auto-focus to remove them from the images. I was actually really pleased that I had thought of doing this as I was able get the natural looking images that I love getting, without any hint of where they were. In amongst this area were also smaller, land based animals including Prairie Dogs.
The final part of my visit was the Tropical House and although I was taken aback by just how humid it was, I soon adjusted and made my way around. To say that the butterflies were beautiful would be a vast understatement and with them flying around, so close to me, I found myself on the edge of forgetting to take any photos. Thankfully though I remembered that I had put my macro (close-up) lens on before entering so set about taking these final images before heading home.