Group Meeting – 28th July 2017

At our July meeting, and due to popular demand, we welcomed back David Plummer, an expert international wildlife photographer. David continued to share with us his fascinating accounts of photographing animals and birds in their natural environment. David explained that many of his photographs are the result of many hours and sometimes days of patience, often in uncomfortable situations. Also the photographs that appear to be endearing are frequently quite the opposite. As an example David showed us a photograph of two lion cubs that looked as if they were snuggled up together but in reality they were licking the blood from each other after sharing a kill.

David spends around six months of the year travelling worldwide acting as a guide to novice wildlife photographers, and conducting bespoke private tours in India, the Galapagos Islands, Kenya, including the Maasai Mara and Rwanda to film target species with particular expertise in the Pantanal region of Brazil and Hungary. These trips spare no expense in securing the very best wildlife experience and time is spent studying and understanding the animals to obtain the best possible shots.

When David is not travelling he works at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, Knepp Castle Estate and the BN5 Owl Project, a community based project in Small Dole near Henfield. He also runs non-photographic wildlife safaris and guided birding on the North Kent and Welsh coasts.

It was not until recently that David chose to disclose the fact that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009, aged 40 years old. This event has not deterred David but instead spurred him on to make the very best of life and he has achieved some of his greatest work since his diagnosis.

Following a break for tea and biscuits Tricia Hall delivered her Nature Notes and advised us that fringed lilies were evident on the Rife and that the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ would take place between Friday 14th July and Sunday 6th August. This is a nationwide survey aimed at helping to assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and is now the world’s largest survey of butterflies. In 2016 over 36,000 people took part counting almost 400,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK. Tricia gave us a list of butterflies that we may spot in our area of West Sussex; meadow brown, gate keeper, common blue, holy blue, comma, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell, peacock, red admiral, brimstone, painted lady, clouded yellow, green-veined white, small white and large white. To take part in this count and for further information visit:

Ed Miller concluded the meeting with news that there were no new planning applications for Ferring and that the revised parking space plan for Sea Drive Flats was to be decided by Arun DC later this month. Ed also advised us that over 700 houses were planned to be built either side of Water Lane in Angmering.