I have not visited the zoo at Whipsnade for several years, in fact the last time was when my elder daughter had her Wedding Reception there. However when the opportunity to go with my younger daughter came along, I was delighted to join her and the children despite the dismal weather forecast for the Thursday. Imagine my delight when overnight all that occurred was light drizzle and the morning turned out to be crisply cold but dry, and the few clouds dispersed to provide edge to edge largely blue sky!
I drove towards Aylesbury to meet up with my daughter in surprisingly light traffic, but once we set off in her car there was a long, slow moving queue on the A41, despite it having been described as 'overnight closure' — obviously the Highways Department use a different clock! Upon our arrival we met up with a Swimming class parent and his young daughter spending a short time with them before they headed for lunch then met up again for a while later.
The gallery of images that accompany this narrative are those of the inhabitants of the zoo rather than those of a purely family occasion, and to be blessed with such light was a bonus I had not been expecting, and the added bonus this gave allowed me to take advantage of the only lens and camera body I had decided upon — the full-frame 5D MkIII and 24-105mm lens. I was pleasantly surprised by being able to crop very tightly, yet achieve very acceptable results from considerable distances. So, had the weather been less bright, I would have found the 70-200mm a better bet — I count myself very lucky!
It was a great day out, and the most appealing shots for me, were those of the Flamingoes, followed ironically by the Hippopotami (though the pungency of the atmosphere within is a shock to the system!) and the Penguins. Whipsnade Zoo is a venue I can heartily endorse, and the friendly atmosphere is a compliment to all the staff whose hard work is very evident. The seemingly incessant rain of the last weeks certainly made the Car Park a challenging experience, so we can count our blessings even more for it having held off on that day!