Badger Watching at Hoo Farm

Badger at Hoo Farm. Shot at ISO-3200 with shutter of 1/60 sec.

I had decided to visit Hoo Farm which is a small zoo located in Telford. They do have a number of captive birds and animals and they play an important role in conservation. I have visited the zoo on two occasions mainly to photograph wild badgers from a hide located within the zoo. There is a badger sett within the zoo where a group of badgers reside forming an underground network. Every Saturday the zoo organizes a badger watch from within the hide from 5pm to 8pm. There is also other wildlife to be seen as well like foxes however on both occasions, the foxes did not appear. The first visit was good as I got some good sightings of the badger and was the first time I had ever seen a badger.

Shot at ISO-6400 with shutter of 1/90 sec.

The second visit was not so good as the badger did not make frequent appearances like the first time plus lighting was also poor in comparison to the first visit. Here I had to use a high ISO setting to get a fast shutter speed and in most images which I had to discard, the fastest shutter speed I could get is 1/20 sec which is not good when the badger is moving about resulting in blurry photos. Using high ISO also degrades the quality of the photo which results in a grainy image. On my DSLR, I avoid going over 3200 ISO but sometimes I boost it upto 6400 which does give decent results, anything over that will degrade the image quality. To shoot in low light, one would need something like a f/2.8 telephoto lens but even that will have it’s limitations when light is extremely low.