Deer at Charlecote Park

As a proud National Trust member, I’m lucky that Charlecote Park in Warwickshire is only 25 minutes away from where I live. It’s become one my favourite places to go for a relaxing walk throughout all the seasons as it’s always teeming with beauty and wildlife.

On this most recent visit, I set off hoping to see some young fawns as I’d heard that the does had recently started giving birth. I knew it was a long shot as they’re timid at the best of times and ultra cautious with their newborn calves.

The stags, however, are totally the opposite. I’ve found that if you approach them slowly and calmly and take your time to just stand and observe, they’ll often let you get really close. On this occasion I gradually found myself surrounded by a particularly confident group of young bucks who didn’t mind my mellow photography taking style.

These young males all had velvet antlers growing having shed last year’s hard calcified efforts.

At the end of my walk just as I was winding down from the photography, heading to the exit and checking the activity on my phone, at peace with the fact that I wasn’t going to see any fawns up close, I looked up from what I was doing to see a loan calf and her mother, unaware of my presence only about 30 feet away. My camera had already been switched off and the lens cap reapplied, ready to be put away for the drive home at this point, so the quiet scramble in quickly getting the shot set up wasn’t ideal, but I’m pleased that I manage to fire a couple off in focus in the few seconds I had available. During this time the mother deer did a runner, leaving her baby looking kind of lost and confused before she eventually ducked down into the long grass to hide. I didn’t want to cause them any more distress at this point, so I carried on towards the exit, but I’m really glad I had that encounter.

All deer photos were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50-140mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

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