This morning we were early and the Richmond Gate to the Park was still locked. This was my sixth visit to Richmond Park in 2020. On arrival at the Pen Ponds car park at 7.05 we were the only car there. We could hear stags behind the cafe braying and decided that we’d go to the large open space there.
In front of us we could see a stag and a small group of does. We spent a lot of time watching the group.
At the top of the open space two young stags were banging their antlers.
To my right we could see groups of deer passing through the trees. Once there I watched the deer pass by and the walkers and joggers avoid moving out of the way along the path.
We had been joined by other photographers in the open space.
The stag lay down for a while.
Behind me the sun had now risen above Richmond Park.
We walked along the line of the trees, passing by the cafe to our right. In the woods there we watched groups of deer being watched by groups of photographers.
The open space above Pen Ponds
Beyond the image above is the usual large area of Richmond Park where we had watched deer in the past. We crossed the metalled path that went from the cafe to the ponds and watched as groups of young stags approached the does and were chased away by a stag.
The young stags here also took turns to clash antlers.
Groups of does appeared from the woods behind us. The stag from the open space chased away the stag from the woods, who left the does to join the group in the open.
The path was busy with walkers who had to keep stopping to avoid the deer but did take opportunities for pictures.
This was the stag who had lost the does and he made his way up towards us and stopped for a while rubbing antlers on a tree.
The young stags did keep approaching the does – here is one of the many approaches captured by a photographer out in the open.
It was getting late and we walked back to a busy cafe to have our breakfast. For the first time in our visits the sheer number of people and lack of social distancing made me very uncomfortable. I was pleased to have finished breakfast and to leave.