My birthday is here again… oh, time flies!!! I’ve been thinking about what I should post for this week and it wasn’t easy to choose a theme or a series of photos. The fact that we haven’t been hiking that much lately doesn’t help either… But I was having a look at my previous post and I decided to continue the theme I chose last year at this time: wildlife!!

Since I started to search for a new telephoto lens for my “big” camera, I had the opportunity to try a few big lenses borrowed from colleagues of my husband. I tried a few before deciding: a Canon EF 70/200mm f/4 (which I tried during my trip to Strasbourg), an incredible Canon ED 70/200mm f/2.8 (that I tried during last Christmas in Zurich), and the winner: a superb Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. When I tried the latter, I had very clear what I wanted to photograph with it. It was winter, the snow had recently covered Zurich and I couldn’t imagine a better subject to photograph than foxes! Just picture it: a fluffy red fox in its thick winter coat in a white scene…

It was more than half a year since I visited the fox family whose photos I published in my last birthday. So the weekend I had the 100-400mm lens I went to visit them again at Wildnispark Zürich. I knew that the little ones had already been released, but I hoped to see the adults in the snow… Well, I didn’t see them, but I could still try the fabulous telephoto lens with some of my other favorite animals as I had never seen them before: beautiful fallow deer in the snow!

It’s been a few months since that day. Now I’m the proud owner of my own Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. It has been my early birthday present this year! It’s huge and super heavy, specially with a camera that already weights almost 1kg… but I’m in love with it! It’s a great substitute for my smaller 55-250mm that I used with my first camera. I’ve been using the new one mostly in landscape photography for close ups (I specially like to take close ups of mountain peaks with fog or clouds around them!) and the results are great!

But as I haven’t been able to photograph more wildlife (and I still wanted to see the fox family) since I got the new lens, I’ve been visiting Wildnispark more often than last year. I’ve been collecting photos from the animals that live in the park for a few months and through the different seasons. Red and fallow dear, wildcats, foxes and their kittens, brown bear… I’ve even seen my first red squirrel there!!!! A little dream of mine since I was living in Ireland and started with photography!

So, here are a few photos of wildlife that I’ve been taking during the last months with my birthday present. I think I could start a new tradition, publishing wildlife photos on the blog (specially fox photos!) for my birthday 😛 In any case, I hope you like them!!


  1. When everybody is posting springful photos of flowers and blue skies, this is unique post!
    All the pictures are magnificent indeed. Especially the few series which are my favourite.
    A very happy birthday to you 🎂

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Vero!! I’m now a year older and wiser 😛
      Well, I also posted my ration of spring flowers two weeks ago, hehehe (not a lot of blue skies here in Switzerland lately, though)… but I’m not that obsessed with the topic… I even missed the cherry blossom season this year and I didn’t miss it that much watching all the cherry blossom photos literally everywhere!! Hehehe.
      These are only a collection of photos I’ve been taking during this year, while trying lenses and learning to use my new telephoto lens… Photographing animals is one of my favorite things and there’s no better subject than they, hehehe.

  2. Stunning wildlife photos, Mercedes. The Fallow buck and the bear look so cuddly but they are wild, I know! How gorgeous to see them in their natural habitat.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Amanda! So happy you like the photos!! Well, they’re not wild wild… Wilder than in a zoo, but they’re not free… Wildnispark Zurich is a little park and natural reserve in the forest the mountains near Zurich. It’s also my happy place, hehehe, I go there often just to practice with animals. This is why I tried there some of the photolenses that friends lend me before buying my own. It’s not difficult to see wildlife there, so it’s always a good place to go when I can’t go hiking.
      I love this about Europe. In Spain is not easy to find wildlife near the big cities… but every other country where I’ve lived, you can find so much wildlife in parks!!

      • Oh I understand now. A nature reserve is better than a zoo, I imagine.

        • mercedescatalan

          I went a few months ago to Zurich zoo… Even if the place is famous for how well animals are treated (I have no doubt about it), I found it super small and I didn’t like it. Wildnispark is a bit different. Animals live in the forest and they have a lot more of space. They are not as exotic as in a zoo, they’re actually the typical fauna you can find (or could before they got extinct in the wild) in Switzerland wilderness… I’m not sure which one is better, anyway. Of course, I always prefer to find wildlife in their natural habitats!! But for these dull grey days when I can’t go to the mountains, this place is just perfect for a few shots! 🙂

  3. Mer, magnifica tu exposición de fauna maravillosa por esos parajes. Me encanta que lo compartas y admiro tu captación de la fotografía.
    Sigue celebrando así tú cumpleaños, un año mas en aprendizaje y viviendo momentos únicos. Felicidades dobles

    • mercedescatalan

      Mil gracias, María!! A pesar del tiempo, ha sido un buen cumpleaños! Jejeje! Sobretodo con este super regalo y la cantidad de horas que voy a usarlo haciendo las fotos que más me gustan… 🙂

  4. Beautiful pictures these are Mercedes! The grand photo of the male deer resting is magnificent. (Now I want antlers as well. Maybe ask them for my next birthday 🙂 )

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a million, Peter! I understand you, all I want for my birthday is a furry thing… maybe with antlers or a red coat 😛 It’s always so fun to photograph these guys!

  5. Paul Mcmenamin

    Hi there. I am currently living in Catalunya, on a finca, and I love the abundance of wildlife here. Wildlife that somehow has avoided the hunters, their guns and their dogs. I have red squirrels here, foxes, wild boar and more.
    Anyway, your photographs are great, my favourites being the squirrel and the sleeping wildcat. Wish I could spot a wildcat in this area, i’m sure they exist.
    Oh one more thing, fox babies are called ‘cubs’ in English, kittens, i think, are mainly associated with cats.
    That’s all, keep taking wonderful photo’s.

    • mercedescatalan

      Hi Paul! Thanks a million for your comment!! I didn’t know there were red squirrels in Spain! At least not as much as in other places I’ve lived! When I was living in Sweden or Dublin it was easy to see a lot of wildlife in the city parks, but not as much in Spanish cities… It’s great to read that in Cataluña there are still wild squirrels in the countryside 🙂 I usually go to Extremadura, where I also see a lot of birds of prey and an occasional red fox and deer. Of course, the best place to watch wildlife there is Monfragüe National Park, where it is totally forbidden to hunt…
      In any case, these photos are not taken in the country side. There’s a kind of wild park near Zurich were they take care of these animals. It’s not a zoo, they have more space and they can live almost as in the wild, and it’s always a nice place to watch and learn the behavior of these animals and, of course, practice some wildlife photography before going to the mountain!! I go there when I can’t go hiking and I’ve visited this place often this rainy spring, hehehe. The wildest animal of this post was the squirrel… And it’s also the first red squirrel I’ve seen, after looking for them in Scotland and Ireland for a long time!! It’s kind of a little achievement or photographic goal for me, hehehe!
      I know that fox babies are called cubs… but I’ve also seen a lot of wildlife photographers and publications calling them kittens… it sounds even cuter! 🙂

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