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Elizabeth and Malcolm's Bluetit Pages
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The deer rut.

 
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ornithopod



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 649
Location: Mayford, Surrey

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: The deer rut. Reply with quote

Tricia took me to Bushy Park last Friday to look for the red deer. (Elizabeth couldn't come as her knee is making life difficult for her at the moment.) With hindsight, we should have gone the previous day which was beautifully sunny, but the light wasn't too bad - and it didn't rain until I was driving home!

We parked the car near the Diana Fountain and headed for where Tricia had seen the deer before. It wasn't long before we found them!


Stag in bracken at Bushy Park
Stag in bracken at Bushy Park
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 65 Time(s)


There were several stags wandering through the bracken like this one, but shortly after we came across a stag surrounded by a group of females.


Stag with hinds
Stag with hinds
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 59 Time(s)


SEveral stags were bellowing away and on a two or three occasions, the dominant male had to chase an approaching male away. They never threatened to make a fight of it while we were there though.

We kept our eyes open for birds too. This heron looks very odd with its beak open and its tongue waving in the breeze!


Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 41 Time(s)


We often heard a wren and eventually one came to say hello - and not only that, it stayed there so that we could take a picture - not normal wren behaviour in my experience!


Wren
Wren
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 41 Time(s)


After a while we left Bushy Park and made our way to Richmond park. This being much larger, meant that finding the deer took a little longer. However, while we were searching we came across a very obliging green woodpecker which stayed feeding as we approached on the track nearby.


Green woodpecker
Green woodpecker
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 61 Time(s)


Finally, here is a group of young stags who have not been fortunate enough to win any females this year. What rather surprises me is how well developed their antlers are. Clearly, success in the stag world is about more that having a good pair of antlers.


A bachelor group
A bachelor group
Poster: ornithopod, viewed 59 Time(s)


All in all, a pretty good morning's outing. Thanks Tricia!

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Malcolm

Our Bluetit Diary can be found at http://www.biggonline.co.uk
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Esa



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: N America

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice woodpecker.

Do your deer not run all over the place and present traffic hazards? I see one a month somewhere near a road. In early morning, white tailed deer wander through suburbia.
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jeannette



Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 139

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks ands sounds like you had a lovely outing.
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ornithopod



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 649
Location: Mayford, Surrey

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esa wrote:
Do your deer not run all over the place and present traffic hazards? I see one a month somewhere near a road. In early morning, white tailed deer wander through suburbia.


Cars have to keep to the roads and these have a 20mph speed limit. I have not driven much in the London parks but the deer and the cars do not appear to clash often! Cars give way to the deer when they decide to cross the roads within the parks. They are also enclosed so that the deer do not escape into the suburbs overnight. During the day time when the road gates are open I suppose there is a theoretical possibility of them escaping but the general busyness and lack of vegetation in the area around the gates means that the deer keep away from the exits.

Does anyone else know how the system works better than I do?

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Malcolm

Our Bluetit Diary can be found at http://www.biggonline.co.uk
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Esa



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: N America

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha, the parks must be pretty big then.

We have hunting season soon, and the deer invade our local state parks, where there is no shooting. They come and go. One county park has a collection of odd mammals, maybe a couple of buffalo even. It has cattle gates on the roads you drive in on.
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Strixaluco



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 5464
Location: Mayford, Sy

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esa wrote:
Aha, the parks must be pretty big then.


Hi Esa - as soon as I read this comment I just had to do some Googling, and came up with this info:

Richmond Park is the largest open space in London covering almost 1000 hectares (2500 acres).

(I clicked on Skip this Introduction for both of the following sites! Smile

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond_park/

Bushy Park is the second largest of the Royal Parks of London, at 445 hectares (1,100 acres) in area.

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy_park/

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Esa



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: N America

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite the parks. Is it safe to be there after dark?
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ornithopod



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 649
Location: Mayford, Surrey

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esa wrote:
Quite the parks. Is it safe to be there after dark?


I don't know - I've not been in them after dark for very many years - but they used to be. I can certainly remember being in Bushy Park after dark when I was in my early teens without any feeling of apprehension and no censure from my parents. I grew up in Hampton about a mile away from one of the entrances to Bushy Park and used to play in Bushy Park quite a lot. This was in the early 1950s though and things have changed a lot since then!

The road gates are shut overnight which stops cars coming and going, and both parks are well away from central London where such problems are much worse than in the suburbs, so things may still be OK.

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Malcolm

Our Bluetit Diary can be found at http://www.biggonline.co.uk
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