My Deer mission starts
In the beginning of the year I set three goals and the first two is already achieved with the Western Capercaillie and the Black Grouse. The last one is the Red Deer here in Sweden. I want some great autumn photos of them when they are having their rut and the big males fight for the right to mate.
Now I count myself lucky because I have the permission to enter a private deer protection area and yesterday I went there for the first time to get a feeling of what I can do there.
I spoke with the land owner earlier in the week and got the news that there are many calves to be seen. That would make a good photo but I wasn´t there primarily to take photos this time.
When I entered the area I could see the open field where I expect that the rut take place. The scenery felt really good at a first glimpse. At the beginning of the field there was also a small pond in which I saw a Goldeneye couple with a chick. I stopped here to see if they approached me when I sat still but the female and young disappeared into a small reed while the male kept me under surveillance from a distance.
There were some Dragonflies at the pond and decided to stay here and see if I could take some photos of them. I got the opportunity and took some interesting photos and I must say that they look like small aliens from a horror movie when you actually can see the mouth with all the teeth’s.
I must get a better shot then this next time but It´s still a good one.
There was constant bird chatter from the area to the right of the pond during the 20-30 minutes that I stayed there. I had no thought of investigating this until I saw the huge shape of a bird among the trees. It flew off further up on this small ridge and I knew instantly that this must be the resident Eurasian Eagle-Owl. I couldn´t see how far it went but I needed to get up there and take a look.
What did I find?
This is probably the female Owl because it´s much bigger than the male. I could approach it but I was constantly watched. I tried to get a better view of the Owl but it soon took off from the harassing Tits. I heard that it flew over the pond as the Goldeneye started to make alarm calls.
So I headed over to left side of the field to see if I could find the Owl again. There were no Tit chatter so I couldn´t expect to get any help from the birds this time. When I came up on the ridge to the left I could see lots of deer tracks and decided to investigate them. They went along the ridge and it just took a couple of minutes before I saw the first deer, or should I say that it was the deer that saw me and took off. I walked some more and soon found an open space which seemed to function as a junction for the deer and here I decided to stay.
This was the right decision and soon I almost got overrun by a hind that tried to get up onto the ridge and just discovered me when I was 10 meters from it. The pictures from this encounter isn´t good because the hind is too close to me. I could see how the hind went back and made a u turn and climbed the ridge 50-60 meters from where we just meet.
I stopped here and took a small snack and while doing this a calf appeared behind some bushes. When I think back on the incident with the hind I can recollect that I thought it was eating when I discovered it but now I suspect it must have checked the calf.
I did a little dance with the calf that discovered my from the sound of the shutter the camera make so next time I switch the camera to quite mode from the start.
This is a good picture of a Red Deer calf that I am proud of. Glint in the eye, nice sharpness and some light that comes thru the canopy. A true bambi photo.
All in all it was a really fruitful inspection and I now really want to see if I can get a photo of a flying Eagle-Owl.