Friday, 24 October 2014

Richmond Park !

I have lived in the South East of the country all my life in the county of Kent, and spent a good few years working in London, but I have never visited Richmond Park in West London.

So on a gloriously warm Sunday morning in October, my wife and I decided to rectify this. 

For my wife this was a country walk in hopefully some nice surroundings.

For me, I was after that iconic photograph of a Red Deer Stag, preferably with a good set of antlers.

The photographs I love are those early morning shots, preferably with some early morning mist, a Red Deer Stag  roaring out a challenge during the rutting season would be great, but probably not going to happen today, especially as we did not arrive until mid morning, no mist, just a beautiful sunny day.

I didn't realise how nice the park was, or how big it was, finding the Red deer was not going to be as easy as I thought, nor was finding a parking space.

The first two car parks were manic, with cars trying to cram in to every little space, we moved on following the road through the park trying hard not to collide with the cyclists that seemed very possessive of their road space, we eventually came across  Broomhill car park with loads of available car parking space, and unusually no parking charges.

We were close to the 'Isabella Plantation' we set off with our picnic to explore the park heading towards Hamcroft Plantation and the search for the Red Deer began.

Our first encounter was with a couple of Red deer Stags resting up in the grasslands. both keeping a respectable distance between themselves.

These were quite impressive, and approachable up to about ten metres or so, apparently the number of points do not necessarily indicate the age of the Stag, I must admit I did think that each point represented a new season but it also depends on the available food supply.

This Stag had seven points on each antler, fourteen in all which makes it a 'Imperial Stag'

Twelve points make it a Royal Stag, Fourteen a Imperial Stag, Sixteen and over is referred as a  Monarch.

As we moved on around the plantations we came across another fine specimen, fired off a few photographs, beautiful animal but no atmosphere.

And to make matters worse, after taking a few photographs as I started to back away, lowering my camera  it was in that moment that the stag decided to let out a blood curdling roar,..... missed by the camera.

Strangely enough we did not see many hinds, in fact we only saw two the whole day , maybe they were in another part of the park.

We did come across a small herd of Fallow Deer , which looked very autumnal in the surrounding woodland.

Nice looking Jay allowed me to get relatively close before flying off.

As we were making our way back to the car park we came across a large heard of Red Deer all of which were males of various ages.

Jackdaws getting in on the act again.

A very nice park to visit, it can take up to 4 hours to walk around the trail within the confines of the park, plenty to see, lots of photo opportunities.

Hard to believe  that you are still in London at times, until a jumbo jet flies overhead.

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