Monday, 8 April 2013

Fallow Me

It's been a while since I've written on this blog so thought I'd put out a post today.  I thought this next one would be spring related, but due to winter digging its heels in this one involves yet more snow!  This time I went out in search of Fallow Deer (Dama dama) in the Peak District.  I know the general area well but this species proves to be quite a timid species, always on the alert and always legging it in the other direction!  

Conditions weren't great photography wise, it was pretty overcast, the light was dropping and there were some serious gales kicking up.  I knew this however, would work to my advantage.  Fallow Deer have an incredible sense of smell and extremely good eyesight.  Using the strong gales I wanted to approach down wind to avoid being detected that way.  Animals can pick a shape out very easily if it breaks the horizon so keeping low was a must until I reached the tree line.  Once there I had a lot more free reign as my shape blended into the pattern of the woods.  At one point they walked directly at me!

"Steady now, no pushing, form an orderly queue!"

With the consistent snow coverings, all grazers must have found it hard to find food in these tough times.  These Fallow Deer would club together around small scrapings and feed on the grass below...

 I got spotted once or twice when I tried moving closer, but if you stayed still enough, I found that they lost you amongst the pattern of the trees behind me again.

The one below was one of my favourites from the day, a young fawn looking like he's attempting to keep warm by nuzzling in close to his mother.

Eventually some walkers came through and spooked the deer giving me the view I most often see! But I did quite like the pattern they made running across the snowy landscape in one long line.

After a relatively successful time with the fallow deer I left them to it, looking down I realised its probably time to invest in some hardier clothing! Jeans just don't cut it anymore!


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