John's Wildlife Photography Blog

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Red Deer in the Royal Parks

Nov 04, 2014

(Image: Canon 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/640 sec @ f/4, ISO 4000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/640 sec @ f/4, ISO 4000, tripod with Uniqball head)

The other day I made an early start to visit two of the best places to photograph Red Deer in England: Bushy Park and Richmond Park. It's worth arriving at dawn as the deer are usually very active then, especially in rutting season (Sept - Nov). Finding deer is quite easy at this time of year - just listen for the bellowing of the stags and head towards the noise. It took about 5 minutes to locate a group of 62 deer, presided over by the stag above. Although there were a few other adult stags around, none seemed to want to take on the incumbent leader so it was a fairly sedate morning.

(Image: Dominant Red Deer stag bellowing to let other stags know to keep away from his herd. Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/1250 sec @ f/4, ISO 1250, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Dominant Red Deer stag bellowing to let other stags know to keep away from his herd. Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/1250 sec @ f/4, ISO 1250, tripod with Uniqball head)

In the afternoon I headed over to Richmond Park. This is the largest of the Royal Parks (2500 acres) and it helps to know where deer usually gather as finding them can be tricky otherwise. I was able to photograph two separate groups of Red Deer during the afternoon, again both were fairly quiet with no fighting between the males. In addition to Red Deer, Richmond also has large numbers of Fallow Deer, often found intermixed with the Red.

If you're planning a trip to the parks, it's worth noting that during November, Bushey Park has restricted opening hours.

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/800 sec @ f/4, ISO 1000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/800 sec @ f/4, ISO 1000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/2000 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 2000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/2000 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 2000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/1600sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/1600sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/160 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 2000, tripod with Uniqball head)

(Image: Canon EOS 1DX, EF500mm f/4L IS II, 1/160 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 2000, tripod with Uniqball head)