Skegness Seal Sanctuary – May 2015

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On Monday 11th May both my parents and I went to Skegness for a day out as we haven’t been to Skegness for some time; it’s just over an hour’s drive from Lincoln. After visiting the craft shop for my mum to get some essential crafting supplies we went to our favourite chippy for fish, chips and mushy peas – I don’t have this very often as this is totally “off-plan” as far as my diet is concerned.

After replenishing the car park meter we picked up our cameras (well my Mum and I did) and walked the short distance to the Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary. Although their number one function is to rescue any seals that would die in the wild (typically young seals) they also have a few animals that are permanent residents too; they range from small animals like spiders and Guinea Pigs to larger ones like seals and Alpacas.

Most of the proceeds for the tickets to Natureland as well as their merchandise goes to the up-keep of the seals; each one on average costs £2000 to nurse back to health and feed before they are released bak into the wild.

So in return for helping in a small way by visiting, I like to take a few pictures of the animals that are there.

As soon as you leave the entrance you will notice two things; on the right is the large pool for the seals that cannot leave the sanctuary for one reason or another, these are the some of the permanent residents of Natureland. The other is in front and slightly to the right, here we have a small Meerkat colony:
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I don’t know what it is about Meerkats but they are adorable animals:
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They are also very inquisitive:
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Not long after taking a few photos of the Meerkats we came to the smaller seal pool, this is where the healthier seals stay whilst they build up their strength and body fat needed to survive in the wild. Once they have reached their natural body weight they are released into the wild. Natureland have a news section that details the releases as they happen.
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Being young seals they are naturally cute like neatly all young animals:
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There are also a few Jackass Penguins there too:
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There are many other “normal” animals too from Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Goats, Chickens, Pigeons and Tortoises:
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There are also more unusual animals like Alpacas too:
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Natureland also has a 3 section “Floral Palace” where they keep rare flowers that need a hot humid environment in the first part, birds from hot climates in the last part and in the middle one many species of Butterflies and Moths. These were all taken with a 70-300 zoom lens with in-lens stabilisation technology called “VR” which stands for “Vibration Reduction”, whilst not as sophisticated as the 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) it is adequate most of the time.

Some of the images are not as sharp as I would like and I had to move to a higher shutter speed and ISO to get them:
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However for a first outing of camera and lens not bad:
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This one is my favourite:
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One of the hot-houses also had small non-local birds in there such as this Quail:
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Once we left the last section of the Floral Palace you come out near the restaurant/cafe and a large fish pool. There were 3 Mallard ducks in this area that seemed to had claimed it for themselves, here is a comical shot with one of them mid-step on his way back to the pool:
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We all had a great day at Natureland and I recommend a visit if you are in Skegness, they are only a few minutes walk from the large car-park near the sea front:
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