Sunday, September 22, 2013

Burghley Park Fallow Deer

It was a lovely clear sunny morning so I popped up to Burghley Park, Stamford for a look at the Fallow Deer. Rutting should start in a couple of weeks and I would like to get up there at first light and try and get some pictures, so I thought I needed a bit of a scout round to size up the location.

150mm, F5, 1/1000, ISO200
I only live about 17 miles away, but I don't go there often since it tends to be so full of dog walkers and joggers. I was there about 9-10am and it was fairly quiet. There is a large deer enclosure which is not open to public access, but there are many large gaps in the fence, so the deer are not restricted to this area. However, they do tend to retreat into it once disturbed. It is quite useful for the photographer since, whilst deer outside the enclosure are very wary and not easily approached, once inside they clearly know they are OK and are much less bothered. Indeed you can often walk up to the fence right next to them even though, a minute or two ago, the same animals when they were outside of the fence would not let you anywhere near!

85mm, F8, 1/125, ISO200

The stags are now in good condition with their antlers fully formed and cleaned of velvet, although they are still in all male herds as yet. There was a bit of sparing going on amongst the younger males. The rut generally gets under way about mid October.