Carry on Rutting - week 2

I spent another dawn and early morning in Richmond Park yesterday as the weather looked promising.  As last week, we had mist at 7am making way to light clouds and very brief spells.  Again, ok but not perfect.  

I was hoping the rut would be properly in swing but it’s not.  Perhaps the cool summer has delayed things.  Instead of the dominant stags fiercely defending their hinds, it’s still all a bit phoney with there being a sense of rivals just vocally testing the defences and saving energy for later.  One of my aims this year is to photograph one of the really physical battles between the big guys but there is still not much sign of that yet.  

However, some of the younger males can be seen testing themselves out with their contemporaries.  It’s a bit like friendly wrestling and certainly doesn’t carry the serious intent of the mature stags.  interesting practice for them and me.  I’ve illustrated the different stags here.

To capture one of the full on contests is going to need a little luck in being in the right place at the right time.  Luck because I can only be around at weekends and not everyone at that.  That’s just a small proportion of the competition time.  If I could only follow these guys for several weeks I’d have a better chance!