This morning I arrived in the Park about 20 minutes earlier than before and luckily the gates were open. As I drove around the number of cyclists on Richmond Park’s roads were significantly down on earlier ion the week. Perhaps they take Fridays off?
There was just one other car in the Pen Ponds car park. As I put my boots on I could hear stags baying and hoped that this would be a good sign. The air temperature had fallen and there were spits and spots of rain.
As I crossed the open space above the ponds, three deer ran across and stopped to graze.
As I neared the woods I could hear a stag braying and there he was in the trees.
First group of deer
I am guessing that this was the same stag that we had seen pacing backwards and forwards and braying on previous visits. Now he had gathered a sizeable group of does.
I watched the stag continue to pace and occasionally bray. Behind me a group of does watched hidden in the bracken.
The does in the group below me had started to scatter while the stag was in the woods at my side.
When the stag emerged he had added bracken to his antlers and dashed about gathering up the does again.
These walkers had to wait until the stag was satisfied that he had gathered all the does. and together they all moved off into the woods out of the rain.
The stag and the does together then all moved off into the woods out of the rain.
Second group of deer in the Park
I turned and walked back up through the woods and just outside the trees this young stag was braying.
I could see a group of does in the woods further away with a much older stag who was now braying too.
The young stag went into the bracken a and spent some time observing the does and the stag. I was now hoping for the two stags to clash Instead the young stag walked away as the other stag approached braying very loudly!
I was sheltering under the trees from the rain and moved into the open to get one last glimpse of this group of deer as the old stag moved them away further into the woods.
I walked across the open space to the woods on the opposite side of the Park to check to see if there were any deer there while I walked back around under the cover of the trees.
There were now a few more cars in the car park. The cafe had no one waiting and by the time I had dumped my kit in the boot of the car the rain had eased. I was able to enjoy my very welcome cup of tea and bacon roll and was the only customer on the tables.
This is my visit earlier in the week to see the deer.