22 April 2009

Frustrating Mammals

The last few weeks have been frustrating ones. Amongst other subjects I have been trying to capture decent images of an animal that I have never got close to. They are roe deer. Having seen them from a distance, and having erected a permanent hide at what I thought was the perfect spot, they still continue to elude, surprise, and just downright baffle me. Although frustrating, they are fascinating creatures. I have now been lucky enough to see them at much closer range, and watch a range of behaviour from 3 does and 2 bucks.

This image shows a somewhat lucky encounter with roe deer on a morning of thick fog.

This was a truly wild encounter and one that will stay in my mind for ever. At around 7am I entered this meadow, and through the fog, the unmistakable shapes of 3 roe deer suddenly appeared. With little option, I ducked down and stayed low whilst slipping on my camouflage hood and positioning my beanbag and rucksack. Slowly, one of the does got closer and closer, picking her way through the wild grasses, until eventually she reached a little clearing. Forced to to use manual, I focussed quickly and fired the shutter, managing just 2 shots. She looked in my direction - paused... then turned round and trotted off. The combination of the long grasses and thick fog make this quite a special image. It also makes me think how some of the best wildlife images are truly wild ones - uncontrived, completely natural... and a snapshot in time from a wild animal amidst its natural landscape.

As I write this, I am about to check the wind directions for the next couple of days. A westerly wind and I will be in my new hide - downwind of the deer, and in a spot that should see them walking straight towards me. Fingers crossed! If that doesn't work, then there's still the recent addition to the farm that may be 'photographable'. A beautiful short eared owl that seems to have taken to quartering the meadow - even in broad daylight...


  1. Great roe deer shot with bags of atmosphere. A lovely moment to capture.

  2. Hi all,

    Really, a nice photo you have captured of roe deer. The roe deer is a relatively small deer with a body length of 95–135 cm, a shoulder height of 65–75 cm and a weight of 15–30 kg. It has rather short, erect antlers and a reddish body with a grey face. Its hide is golden red in summer, darkening to brown or even black in winter, with lighter undersides and a white rump patch, the tail is very short and barely visible. Thanks a lot.....