Sat reclining, Homer Simpson style, after all the Christmas feasting most of us would find ourselves in front of the TV on Boxing Day. I was shaken from my post postprandial slumber when Winterwatch displayed TWO images from GNPC club members on their Christmas Special.
Peter Warne’s image of the Avocets below got a special mention (and he got name checked), so kudos to him:
Peter Warne's Avocets
John Parish’s shot of deer in Wethersfield was picked out (and not criticised) by Chris Packham, so plaudits to him too:
Wethersfield Deer 'Gamboling'
For those of an inquisitive nature the images appear 1hour 20 mins into the programme, which you can check out on iPlayer for the next couple of weeks. Winterwatch-link.
Following a talk given by Peter Warne to the Club in June entitled “A walk on the wild side” which related to the wildlife of Epping Forest, the club decided it would be a good idea to arrange an outing to the Forest with Peter as our guide. On Saturday 17th September at 10am, 10 members of the Club met at Jack’s Hill Car Park in Epping Forest, all armed with cameras, tripods and an enthusiasm to learn about the forest. Within 5 minutes of starting our walk we were not disappointed as we encountered over 5 different varieties of fungi and straight away the group started getting out their gear to make a permanent record of the various species. Members were lying, sitting, standing, crouching, with tripods, without tripods, with flash and without flash and all snapping away trying to capture the life of the forest. Throughout the day as we encountered items of interest our guide, Peter, kindly provided a detailed commentary relating to the habitat and whatever we had found.
Later on in the morning we visited the Deer Sanctuary but a decent zoom lens was needed and some slightly better lighting conditions, although we were lucky to see many stags that are likely to be getting ready for the rutting season next month. Peter showed some of us a shortcut to the Park but sadly some of the group had been separated and had to rely on instructions from me on how to get there, luckily disaster was averted as Peter kindly walked back to find them. After what seemed a lengthy break for lunch we proceeded back to the car park and on the way continued to find interesting subject matter. The stinkhorn that we had visited earlier in the day had been almost been eaten completely by the flies by the afternoon and this was a fascinating find. Sadly we also saw evidence of Fungi Rage as many of the lovely fungi we had seen and capture earlier by the pathside including two beautiful shaggy inkcaps had been destroyed probably by human feet playing football.
What amazed us all is that we didn’t have to walk far to find interesting subjects to photograph and the 7 hours we spent in the Forest seemed to have flown by. We had all learnt a significant amount about the plant life in the Forest and how closely linked the fungi are to the continued development of the forest. This is a venue that is definitely worthy of another visit perhaps in the Autumn for the rutting of the deer and the change in colour for the leaves.
Our thanks especially go to the patience and knowledge of our guide Peter Warne. Here are some of our members’ photos from the outing: