April 28th – I wasn’t riding a bike, but returning from an early evening meal, I spotted deer from the car on the north of Holland Park by Brownhills School. We pulled over and went to look.
Against the odds the sunset was surprisingly good and the large herd of red deer – numbering between 17-20 – were skittish but curious.
Sometimes, all you need to improve your day are good food, good company, the people you love, a decent sunset and some wildlife.
March 3rd – I found a herd of 19 fit-looking red deer in the scrub near the outdoor education centre. They were relaxed, browsing the heather and not at all skittish. A fine sight.
I love how thick and woolly their coats seemed, and the occasional snow on the nose. It’s good to know these fine creatures are faring well in the snow.
July 27th – After a good couple of weeks trying to catch them at the gate, the Jockey Meadows coos were finally not too busy to meet me this evening.
They’ve been released here much later than usual this year, and the meadow is clearly full of tasty stuff as whilst I’ve seen the odd bovine rump above the scrub, they’ve not been loafing much hear the road at all, and have seemed very busy in their work: that of maintaining the meadow by eating the fast growing plants, churning the soil and improving it’s fertility.
I love cows and tonight, they seemed to be convening a union meeting. There are more of them this year, I counted 12 I think, whereas they normally number around 8. It was notable, however, that whilst I was interesting enough to stare at quizzically, I wasn’t interesting enough to expend any effort in walking over to investigate.
It’s good to see these lads back and I look forward to meting them again soon…
June 25th – I wasn’t expecting much when I headed to Chasewater; battling a strong wind and drizzle, the place was all but deserted and my circuit of the lake looked set to be dismal.
However, I was to be proven wrong; first of all I spotted a group of three red deer browsing the north heath contentedly, and they were happy for me to take pictures, even seeming to pose. But the real treat was waiting on the brow of the hill.
There was an adult female plucking greens from the trees, and after stopping to photograph her too, I noted she had another adult and two fawns with her. They progressed down to the marsh and loosely joined with the earlier three.
The antics of the fawns – never still for a moment – were lovely and the deer weren’t a bit shy or skittish. I watched them for a long time, even thought the rain was pretty steady.
However used to these gentle, beautiful beasts I become, I still can’t remove myself from the shock that we have them here, living on our green spaces. A wonderful, beautiful spectacle.
August 29th – Here’s an odd one. In the dark, I spotted dark shapes in the field by the canal at Newtown, just at the back of Sandbeds Caravan Park. The shapes were actually six red deer, loafing and browsing the meadow.
I’ve not really noticed them active at night before, all though I do know they move around a lot nocturnally.
Sadly, the flash would reach that far and they were to active to take a long exposure photo. So I I achieved was shining eyes in the darkness.
June 22nd – I passed the coos of Jockey Meadows early in the morning, and they were gathered at the field gate. I’m curious as to why they do this, and sometimes, at the same time of day, can barely be seen at all. There’s nothing of note here apart from a salt-lick, and there’s plenty of water in the meadow, so I guess they get some additional feed brought by a stockman, and their internal clocks are telling them food is due.
These gentle, inquisitive animals have clearly had an impact on the meadow – it’s what I think they’re there for – the long grass is reduced and the mud well churned.
I love these summer tenants of this curious slither of greenbelt..
June 4th _ I came back past the Dunstall and Catton Estates. At Dunstall, they’re farming deer, and it’s odd to see these graceful creatures enclosed in such high fences, but they do have a huge amount of space and seem happy.
Near Catton, the coos were fascinating, and a reminder of how dangerous they can be. I first spotted them wading into the Trent to cool off, but on seeing me, the entire heard made for the hedge where I was standing. Gently insistent, they crowded round, presumably to see if I had food. They are gorgeous animals, but I’m glad the hedge was there!
April 19th – Spotted on the way home, a small group of red deer at the far side of a freshly planted field on the south side of Jockey Meadows, near High Heath.
Haven’t seen deer on this side of Green Lane for a while. They were right over by the brook, and I guess they’d been laying low in the marsh there for most of the day.
I still can’t really believe we live in a place where these large, wonderful and beautiful creatures roam freely.
After all these years, to see the deer is still a delight.