What I forgot to mention in Part 1 (yesterday) was that there were about 8 House Martins still circling the ponds! Amazing that they're still about.
Before we headed off towards the car, we did see a few deer about; particularly this mum and junior.
and in the rutting season, there may be occasions when a nap is called for.
and a Fallow Doe
Having spent a goodly time photographing birds, it was time to visit the "tuck shop". So duly lubricated with coffee and tea, (accompanied by an eccles cake (me) and a Bacon Roll (highly recommended by Hugh)), we set off for Richmond Park continuing the quest for Red Deer and, hopefully, Fallow Deer too.
We drove around the park and this time we struck gold - in the place where I was expecting to see deer there they were - in large numbers - and consequently my face was no longer so red in colour!
A magnificent Red Deer who had many hinds around him; many young stags who made token gestures of challenging the leader (who didn't take them seriously at all). A large herd of Fallow deer.
Having parked the car, we then spent some time watching them.
The Fallow Deer spent most of their time on the Rugby Pitches - no sign of a game starting though. But on the other side (separated by a small stream) the main herd of Red Deer were to be found - and this is where the action was.
Just picture - large male Red deer - surrounded by some 30+ hinds. On the fringes of the gathering a few very young male stags who, occasionally would amble over towards the hinds, only to turn tail and walk away when they caught the eye of the "Main Man".
Then - far away off to our right, a booming roar from a lone Stag. Now this was a different kettle of fish altogether - he was a mature male. Over a period of a few minutes he approached to main herd. Initially, he approached quite slowly but then broke into a run. By now his presence had been noted and some "parallel walking" ensued. However, this soon came to an end without the anticipated (by us) confrontation. The two separated but continued to "roar" - just in warning!
These hinds were contentedly relaxing in the autumn grass
A stag looking over from the other side of the stream...
before deciding to join the main party of Red Deer on the other side
This was the "main" Stag; very easily distinguished by the "downward" point of the antler
Two younger males decided to "spar". Whilst this lasted for a few minutes, it was somewhat half-hearted and they eventually parted with no harm done.
Having seen the approach of another mature stag, our Hero decided an audible warning is called for
However, this doesn't deter the contender
and whilst they did confront each other and some "parallel walking" ensued the new-comer moved away..
The other deer to be found in Richmond Park are Fallow deer.
Now, whilst Red Deer males are called Stags and the females Hinds, when it comes to Fallow deer the terminology is now Bucks and Does. Also the antlers of the male are distinctly different from those of the Red Deer Stags.
The main herd of Fallow Deer were on the Rugby Pitch side
and a Doe has a lazy time.
but some had come over, and this Buck was having a "roar"
I'm assuming this is a fairly mature Buck.
Whilst these are just a few pictures of the main highlights of individual deer, the still image cannot convey the excitement of mature Stags chasing off contenders and round up their hinds.
It was an extremely entertaining day with so much bird and animal activity; and a day spent in good company too.
A think perhaps a return visit (with better light) is called for......
Hard going and a good moth
54 minutes ago