My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Mixed bag and looking for the Deer Rut!

My blogs are a bit like buses at the moment. Nothing for ages and then several come along together - note to self "must be more organised!!!"

Yesterday evening there was a sunset - haven't had one for quite a while. These pictures were taken from the garden looking West (West? - now there's a surprise!!)

This morning was a good day for garden birds.

A male Blackcap had a visit to the bird bath and was joined by a Nuthatch! I was delighted!! (Considers moving bird bath nearer to house!)
Other visitors today were:
Blackbirds (missing during the summer and now returned) Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnock, Ring-necked Parakeets and Feral Pigeons (when do they NOT visit!!) Golfinches, Greenfinches and Chaffinches. I think Autumn's started!

I'm assuming that it's the very dry spell of weather that has caused several birds to visit the pond for a drink and/or bath! This Black bird was no exception and looked balder with each dip in the water!

I'd decided to visit both Richmond and Bushy Parks to check up on the deer rut. In Richmond Park there were very few Red Deer visible although I did hear one "roar" on one occasion.- so generally very quiet. I drove around near the Rugby pitches as this is the area I photographed them last October; it seems to be quite a major rut "stand".

In October last year, I took pictures of the males clashing and herding the females in earnest. I have pictures dated 6 and 8 October when there was considerable activity. But I note that on the 17 October that, whilst the stags were still with their hareem, most activity had died down.

There was activity on Pen Ponds with several Canada Geese flying about. Regretably most of their activity was avoiding dogs dashing into the water; this, despite the notices requesting dog owners to keep dogs on leads in this area, so not to disturb the wildlife.

A lone female Pochard was out on the pond also..

A Small Copper presented itself but mostly all else was heard not seen. I did observe the usual undulating flight of a Green Woodpecker as it flew amongst the trees though.

After a cheese and tomato roll from the kiosk in Richmond Park I continued my search for a rut update in Bushy Park.

On the pond, a Moorhen posed enjoying the afternoon sun.

and a Grey Heron, scratched an itch high up in a tree.

By now I'd heard three separate "roars" from stags and followed one of them. They were in the same place as last year and this stag already had his females gathered around him. Mostly the other stags that were "roaring" were doing so lying down and not really taking matters that seriously yet!

A jackdaw chose a comfy perch on one of the hinds

whilst the Stag was kicking up dust before lying down.

Later on, with much roaring he wandered off to..

a stream nearby. Here he had a roll in the mud then proceeded to drink,

before thrashing his antlers in the grass at the edge of the stream

With suitable head-gear..

he had a final drink

before clambering out of the water and walking back to his females.

I suspect that sometime in the next 10 days or so, activity will increase. I shall be back to both Richmond and Bushy in a few days to check on progress and activity.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia

Thanks for the update.


oldcrow61 said...

Great pictures of the sunset. Really lovely. The picture of the stag with the grass on his head is priceless, so handsome. Wonderful photos.

Liz said...

I'm not so sure I'd like to get too close to those stags...

Great photos Tricia :)

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
This is a very impressive post full of good shots. I love the sunset and the stags shots a lot. These stags look very impressive!

holdingmoments said...

Lovely selection Tricia, but....

the stags. Awesome!
I've never seen them during the rutting season. Me? Jealous?
Yea! I'd love to see that. Hope you get the pictures.

Wilma said...

Loved all the photos. I am jealous of how comfortable and warm the morehen looks sitting in the sun. And the stag photos are terrific. They are fearsome looking, except when they have grass caught in their antlers. ;-)

Tricia said...

Maurice - you're welcome

OC - A brief sunset but good to see. The grassy antlers do introduce a sense of the ridiculous on such a magnificent beast :D

Liz - Thanks. They are best left alone and avoided altogether in the rut!!

Chris - thank you.

Keith - thank you very much. Well - it's not too far from you....

Wilma - The Moorhen did look very comfy and didn't even want to move when I walked past to photograph it! I don't know why they thrash their antlers about - I must find out - and yes, they look much more benign when decorated with grass!

Warren Baker said...

All that wildlife, AND a cheese & tomato roll!

Keep an eye on that bird bath, it's so dry at the moment who knows what may drop in

Midmarsh John said...

Beautiful sunset pictures. The deer photos are astounding. I am slowly turning green. :)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely sunset pics Tricia, there have been some lovely sunsets recently. Another great selection of photos, those Stags are very impressive (and funny with the grass). The Jackdaw perching was very comical too.

ShySongbird said...

Hi again Tricia, thought I should say (in case you thought it odd) that no it didn't take me over an hour to do this comment and the one on the previous post, I got called away from the computer between the two ;)

Joe said...

Hi Tricia,

Great photos of your garden birds, we too are seeing plenty of them at the moment. Loved the photo of the deer with the Jackdaw perched on it ;)

Andor Marton said...

What an awesome stag series, that male looks amazing.

Tricia said...

Warren - lol; I have so much to cope with :D I shall continue to watch. I also saw a LBJ which might have been a chiff-chaff. I often hear them but never seen on in the garden - still not sure though.

John - Thank you - but please don't turn too green :)

Jan - thank you. Jackdaws seem to take advantage of anything and everything! And I hadn't even noticed the time difference :)

Joe - Thank you and it's good to see you here again. It's great that the garden bird numbers are increasing isn't it!

Andor - thanks for your visit and your comment. I think I keep seeing the same male and he looks a very mature beast; I believe he has 14 points to his antlers!

SPD said...

J and I think the stag was trying to disguise himself as a wading bird or possibly camo! Looks great miss wandering round the park with you!

Phil and Mandy said...

Hi,love the photos, the sunset ones are a real treat, lovely. Regards Phil

Nature As Is said...

Excellent post Tricia I would have to say simply beautiful. I loved your story and your photo's I can't say I like one shot more than the other. Wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

Great photos, especially the
stags. Not sure I would have been that close! That blackbird looks a bit soggy.

karen said...

A stunning set of pics Tricia! Love the deer, and the soggy blackbird! x

Liz said...

Hi Tricia, I wasn't sure if you'd seen this:

It may mean your numbers decline should someone take a dislike for them....

Tricia said...

SPD & J - you both may well be right LOL Yes - it would be good to have you and J with me again!

Phil - thank you as usual.

Nature As Is - thank you for your very kind comments.

Digi - thanks - yes, the stags are well avoided at the moment!

Karen - thank you :)

Tricia said...

Hi Liz and thanks for the link. I had seen another reference to this. I don't feel it's going to make a huge difference.

They certainly are a nuisance to anyone who grows fruit and Painshill Park suffered from the Parakeets eating their grapes last year!

However, the jury is still out on whether they are really endangering the nesting sites of indigenous birds.

Richard Peters said...

Hey Tricia,

I have been thinking about getting myself back to Bushy to see how the rut is going on. Will probably head over there tomorrow to see if there is any action yet. Managed to get a few nice shots last year but only one of some actual fighting! Maybe see you down there :)

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