We’re going on a Deer Walk …

England, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, National Trust, North Yorkshire, Wildlife

I went on a bit of a safari yesterday. Only down the road to Studley Royal’s deer park. Here are some snippets from the afternoon.

Autumn is the time of the rut, when stags compete to get the biggest and best harem of does, to secure their own blood like survives to the next generation. They wallow in the mud to leave their sexy scent behind, score trees and trash vegetation- they may even aim to toss leaves and grasses to their antlers to make them look even more imposing. We saw none of these behaviours. But we did hear them roaring and making that strange loud roaring belching noise that can be heard from quite a distance, and which warns other males that They Mean Business.

It doesn’t pay to get too near to deer at this – or indeed at any other – time of year, so all of my photos use zoom at its highest setting, which doesn’t make for the crispest of images. But you’ll know you’re in the deer park when you see trees looking like this. That horizontal finish you can see is the browse line – the highest that a red deer on its hind legs can reach to get a mouthful of leaves.

We saw these fellahs next. They’re young stags. They know they haven’t got a hope this year of attracting the females, so they just sit it out. Maybe a bit of play-fighting to get a bit of practice in, but really … it’s just not their party. That first one posed for Monday Portrait.

On we walked. Over the old bridge where females often give birth and shelter their young, to the crest of a hill where we have far-reaching views over to Ripon and the North York Moors beyond, And below, deer: fallow deer and sika deer, browsing and grazing together, with their stags keeping a proprietorial eye on them. We kept our distance and just enjoyed watching them.

Younger, older, does and stags …

Then onward, past the sweet chestnut trees they love so much at this time of year, for their tasty chestnuts, past a popular wallowing place (oops, forgot to take a photo).

So let’s finish our walk with a few shots of those views I mentioned.

In the shot above, that’s Ripon down below. The eagle-eyed will just be able to spot the cathedral in the centre of the shot, in the distance.

For Monday Portrait and Jo’s Monday Walk.

39 thoughts on “We’re going on a Deer Walk …

  1. I never realised about the tree line but it’s very obvious when you point it out, Margaret. Do they eat the raw chestnuts too? Bit hard! Grey skies here today and it almost feels English, but I have a hospital visit to a friend this afternoon so it doesn’t really matter. Thanks for letting me walk with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely! I rather like the grainy finish on the long shots; it gives the impression of movement. But the young stags sitting it out is my favourite. Their turn will come!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There was the build up with the first lines and then Nah we didn’t see any of that!!! What a let down. Luckily the rest of our tour was good thanks Margaret ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some rather lovely painterly images here Margaret. A good time to visit any of the Royal Parks around London I imagine. There is only one place with a deer park in Cornwall though apparently roe deer and red deer can be found around the county, though I have never come across any.

    Like

  5. Happy memories of our own deer spotting there, although we were too early in the year for the rut. Interesting about the horizontal line at the bottom of the trees – I hadn’t realised that but it’s obvious now you point it out ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the views too, especially the one towards Ripon (and yes, as I knew where to look I could see the cathedral!)

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.