Back to the rut

It’s early October so it must be deer rutting season… probably.  

I’ve been observing the Red Deer rut for a good many years, certainly longer than I’ve been photographing it.  Richmond Park towards the South Western side of London is one of the great places to watch in nearly 4 square miles of conserved deer forest and I was back again.  Unforgivably I was late arriving on what looked like a fine morning.I didn’t get to the park until 7:45 by which time the sun was well risen.  I normally aim for an hour earlier in the hope of catching the misty autumnal dawn. However today, it was a brilliant sunny morning without a whisp of mist anywhere.  It was just to warm!  

I said “probably” above because I’m not too sure the rut is really in full swing quite yet.  There were relatively few deer to be seen and everything was a bit too relaxed.  A few stags seemed to have rounded up small groups of hinds and there was a bit of grunting and bellowing but its not full song and there didn’t seem to be much challenging going on.  Nevertheless I found a few nice shots: a stag taking out some frustration of a branch and generally looking majestic under giant English Oaks.  And it wasn’t all about the deer.  I had a particularly nice sighting of a young kestrel too. 

Hopefully, we will see a crisp, cold fine morning in the next couple of weeks so I can pop back and catch some proper rutting action.  In the meantime, enjoy these shots.