Okay so this is old news but on Midsummer’s Day we paid a visit to Richmond Park to see how the deer were getting on.
Red Deer Richmond Park
It wasn’t long before we found a herd of red deer. The deer are quite chilled at the moment because the mating season does not kick in until later in the year when things start to get a little more unpredictable and potentially dangerous as we found out back in October 2011
Spot the stag
If you click to enlarge the photo above you can see that the deer with his head turned to the left has the beginning of a pair of antlers growing from his skull. By October these will be bloody enormous and he will be using them to fight with other stags for possession of these lovely ladies.
Red deer – stag to the left
Here he is again on the left.
We also got to see some of the park’s shyer fallow deer. They made a dash through the red deer herd,
Red and fallow deer
and over the road to hide in the undergrowth.
As you can see the stags have the beginnings of antlers, although they seem a touch more developed than those of the red deer.
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On Saturday a friend suggested going for tapas and there really are not many restaurants that can beat Don Fernandos’s in Richmond. Naturally no visit to Richmond is complete without visiting Richmond Park to see the deer, even if you do find yourself trapped in the midst of three testosterone charged red deer stags at the height of the rut, like we did last October (more about that trip and Don Fernando’s here). By this time of year things have calmed down a lot and it wasn’t long before we got a sight of some of Britain’s largest land mammals happily noshing away at the grass.
Red Deer Richmond Park, you can just about make out the tower of Canary Wharf far to the east in the background
The deer appeared fairly nervous, which I put down to a number of large dogs being walked in the area, let’s face it they are not that far removed from the wolf. As the light was starting to fade and the park gates are closed at dusk we decided to bid the deer farewell and head back into Richmond for a few beers at The Roebuck as the Sun set. I was feeling a little disappointed that we hadn’t really got very close to the deer when as we approached the gates, a movement to the left caught my eye.
Fallow Deer bucks
It was a pair of fallow deer bucks, their dappled coats almost perfectly camouflaging them from sight. Fallow deer are smaller than the UK’s indigenous red deer and were probably introduced to Britain by the Romans. I was delighted to get a few shots of these beautiful animals before the light faded. It was the perfect end to our visit to the park.
Light and dark variants of fallow deer bucks, Richmond Park