Fun in the Sun at Richmond Park

What a glorious day! We headed over to Richmond Park and enjoyed aerial views of a Kestrel, Swifts, Green Woodpecker and a Skylark, all against a perfect blue sky. Down on the ground young Red Deer calves scampered after their mothers, crickets were calling, butterflies and bees were visiting the meadow flowers and brightly coloured damselflies were caught in the act of love. This is my favourite picture of the day; a Fallow Deer buck, the chief of the bachelor herd, keeping an eye on goings on from a relaxing spot in the grass. At the moment the bucks are growing in their antlers, they are said to be “in velvet” as the developing antlers have a velvety covering of skin.

Fallow Buck with txt

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4 Responses

  1. Peter Ince says:

    My eldest son Steven is desperate to obtain antlers that have been shed – are they easy to get hold of ?

    Peter

    • Wild Capital says:

      Hi Peter,
      It has a lot to do with luck! But I can give you a few pointers that may help Steven. Red Deer shed their antlers in March/April. Fallow Deer shed in April/May and Roe around November. The blood supply to the antlers is cut off and they become loose and drop off. Good places to look are along obstacles like low fence lines, which deer would have to jump over to cross. Potentially the jolt would cause a loose antler to fall. Antlers tend to be nibbled by other animals like mice and squirrels as they contain calcium and other nutrients. So it’s a good idea to look out for them around the time that they are falling, before anything can nibble them away. In Scotland fallen antlers are actually an important nutrient source for the deer themselves, and it is generally advised not to remove them from the environment. But the Scottish Highland environment is nutrient poor, and in most places I don’t think you would need to worry about collecting an odd antler! I have several! Happy hunting!

      • Peter Ince says:

        Thanks very much for the info – planning a Scotland trip 2014 – so where should we head to because we don’t see many in Derbyshire – or do we ?

        • Wild Capital says:

          There are a fair few deer around in Derbyshire, but not nearly as many as in Scotland. Many of the deer in Derbyshire will be Roe, which are more sulking then Red Deer and live within the woodlands. When I was working in the Highlands our “go to” places for Red Deer were Strathconon, Strathdearn and Glen Strathfarrar (this is a gated glen so check the opening times on the internet if you planning a visit, and get there earlyish as they only allow so many cars in a day). But really there will be deer wherever there is moorland, I’m sure you will see quiet a lot without really trying. Getting off the beaten track a bit and walking where less other people go is a good technique, then be vigilant on the ground, particularly along fence lines. Good luck!

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