May 28th – Pottering around Chasewater, from Pool Road, I noticed deer over by the old spoil heap to the rear of the disused Highfield Farm. They were too far away to get a decent picture, so I entered the park, crossed back over the toll road via the footbridge and hopped onto the old railway line at the back of Poole Crescent. I came face to face with the group of red deer – two hinds and two young stags, with antlers still in velvet – just by the marsh at the corner of the heap.
The were skittish, but curious, and we faced each other down at a distance of 50 yards or so for a good 10 minutes before I spooked them, and they ran off toward the thickets at the edge of the field. A wonderful sight, still shocking to me.