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What a Carry On - South East Wildlife Weekend - a group of 26 ePHOTOzine members meet up for more fun and frolics
|The time had arrived, 10.00am Saturday 9th October and guess what, I was late, turned up at Wildwood at 10:15am to find everyone already in the tearoom waiting. The meeting of some old friends and the introduction of some new friends duly took place with plenty of light hearted joking occurring, which was to be the case for the whole weekend.
Those in attendance were Mattwaggie( the intrepid ePHOTOzine traveller) Zippie, Csurry, Osman123, Suzieosman, Hobbs, Greyheron53 + Linda, Characterboats, Shirley, Aunt Sally, Fizz and me Boyd-Longley.
The weather was not to be kind to us that morning, which rather put a damper on the animals putting in an appearance. As we all made our way around Wildwood, we split up into little groups, some trying to find the odd animal or two willing to put in an appearance, others foraging on the woodland floor in search of various Fungi.
|On the forest floor with Ian( characterboats)||Matt( mattwaggie) & Terry(boyd-longley) are real funguys to be on a meet with.|
On everybody's return to the tearoom for a welcome hot drink and a bite to eat, it was decided time had come to make our way over to Stodmarsh the home of the now famous ePHOTOzine Kingfisher. Some rather nice Fungi growing at the edge of the pathway sidetracked a couple of the group on route to the hide. The rest of us continued on to the hide, once inside and pretty much taking over the hide the wait began. Nick ( hobbs ) decided he would have a shot of the famous perching stick if nothing else. We didn't have to wait very long as the peep peep peep of the Kingfisher could be heard as she made her way into the bay and duly sat on the perch, the noise of shutters being released was almost deafening and the atmosphere electric, the kingfisher then went about putting on a fine display of hovering and diving for fish to the sheer delight of those in the hide.
Sue( suzieosman) comes running from the woods, chased by a wild boar or was it a squealing pig?
|A little while later those who had been photographing the Fungi turned up and the hide was full of ePHOTOziners. Ade (osman123) and Andy (Zippie) were sat at one end of the hide and several times during the afternoon Andy was heard squealing like a pig, this had something to do with a previous encounter between the two of them (you will need to see a photo of Ade in the gallery posted by Zippie to understand fully) the Kingfisher put in a couple more appearances during the afternoon, then just before it was time to leave, the greater spotted Zippie bird appeared around the front of the hide scaring the life out of Cheryl and raising a burst of laughter from the rest of us. It was time to bring an end to the first day of photography and prepare for tomorrow.||
Inside the hide and the Kingfisher has arrived seriousness prevails at last!
Andy, Matt, Cheryl, Mike and Linda along with myself Sharon and Siobhan all made our way to my house for an evening meal, a large Chinese takeaway was duly ordered and along with a few drinks, the days events were discussed and reflected on. Matt had to have a quick fix of ePhotozine before retiring to the hotel with Andy and Cheryl before the next day's action.
The big day had arrived; myself Sharon and Siobhan drove down to the hotel so that Matt, Andy and Cheryl could follow us to the BWC. We duly arrived at 10:00 am where there were already several photographers unloading their gear. Some formal introductions were made and we all made our way into the tearoom where more introductions and chatting took place over nice hot cups of tea and coffee.
Whilst everyone was together it was time for the group photograph so we all duly lined up behind Milo the Barn Owl. After the shot was taken it was noticed that Zippie was missing, and then he appeared out of David's (the owner of the BWC) office, quite what he'd been up to we are not sure! But there hadn't been any squealing pig noises!
The cast as follows Left to Right: Tanglefoot (sitting), Boyd-Longley, Csurry, Mattwaggie, Lobsterboy, Whipetrider, Hobbs, hiding behind hobbs is TJW1904, Brian Usher, Maljohns, Daffydill56, Kgeeves, RonR, Greyheron53, Shirley, Ngeeves, Fizz, Big Col, Aunt Sally, Thatbloke, Louise, Suzieosman, Osman123, Characterboats. Hiding somewhere in there is also Billip and Zippie missing in action.
The new exhibit at the BWC, wildlife finally caged.
Everybody then went off on their way around the centre, for most people the first stop being the Foxes, they were in fine form posing and playing for the cameras. 10:30 was approaching and the first feed of the day being the Otters, a few of us made our way down to the Otter enclosure to pick our positions, we were treated to Oscar putting in and appearance before his food had arrived, a very rare thing for him.
|Col, Ade, Sue Mal Chris and Brian try their luck with the Otters Oscar and Minnie While Tracey has look at the possibility of a few Deer shots.||The ePHOTOzine group take over the prime positions during the Otter talk.|
Gradually more and more of the ePHOTOzine group appeared around the enclosure in fact out of all the visitors there at that time only two were not ePHOTOzine members. Some stayed down by the Otter enclosure, because the Deer enclosure is close by and the antics of the Red Deer stag trying to keep all his ladies in line was entertaining. We all then broke up into little groups to make our way around the centre, meeting up at different animals at feeding times, Later in the morning, Onewildworld and AliP turned up and then early afternoon Marsa and his girlfriend Brenda put in a welcome appearance.
The Water voles were an attraction for one or two of the group and when Hobbs hat blew from his head into the pond we just knew it was going to be a great day.
|Nick ( hobbs ) got so bored of waiting for the water vole; he thought he'd do his laundry, to Mals amusement.||What a suspect bunch these are waiting for the water voles to put in an appearance. L-R Tanglefoot, Mattwaggie, Greyheron53 and Lobsterboy.|
Several photos of the day have already been posted in the gallery, examples of which are Onewildworlds single man tent saga whilst photographing fungi, much to the amusement of the normal visitors to the centre, Zippies supposed proposal of marriage to Sam (one of the keepers) and the photo of the brave mouse in the Adder enclosure, to name but a few. The Foxes put on a great show all day long and were a constant attraction as there were always one or two photographers around their enclosure for most of the day.
The weather was kind all day if a little chilly towards the end of the day but all in all everyone had a great time, thanks to all those that turned out to make it a great weekend, just a case now of arranging the next meet.
Some ePHOTOziners had trouble knowing what to do with their big zoom lenses!
Article kindly provided by Terry Boyd-Longley