Clink on the Image's to Enlarge the Photograph's
This Blog is only Updated in the Month of October for the Red Deer Rutt.....

Friday, 19 October 2012

Last Day, No Deer,Only Birds!!

For my last day on the moor I decided to give the deer a miss, I’ve been privileged enough to share some good moments with them over the last two weeks and wanted to give them a break. So I headed to Chetsford Water, a lovely deep ravine with a few scattered Rowan trees and Hawthorns, and a small stream running through it. The Following pictures are a just a few I managed to catch in the valley, in particular I was rather pleased on capturing a Goldcrest, Britain’s smallest bird, about the size of a golf ball, such a beautiful little thing. In total I saw Meadow Pipit, Merlin, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff? Kestrel, Mistle Thrush, Raven, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Wren, Long-Tail-tit, Blackbird. All in the space of two hours, not bad going if I do say so! Oh and the last image is the Greater Green Sea King from RNAS Yeovilton who was flying max chat low level through the Valley, and scared all the birds away, but it was good to see!! Cheers Guys!! Well that concludes my Blog for the Rutt 2012, for those who have followed it; I hope you enjoyed it as much as me. Regards Matt

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 13, Pretty Unlucky!! but here's a Few!

Today started with good weather but it didn't last, I only had two hours on the Moor before it poured down with rain, so here's a trio of photo's!! Some Golden Plovers in Flight, plus a good Stag from the back of Dunkery and finally a stand off between two lovely Stags, plenty of posturing but know contact this time.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Today's been a Relaxed one, So here's a Mix Bag!

Today images are a mixed bag, as I spent the day visiting the Valley of the Rocks near Lynmouth with mum and Barney the dog, so a nice day off from the moors. Now I’m sitting in the Caravan with a G & T and some cheese and biscuits, whilst it’s raining outside!! The Last deer in the forest on its own is my only picture of a Fallow Deer, Shy and elusive!! the Rest are Red's, the one Stag looking directly at me was doing a bit of a peak-a-boo.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Day 11, Best weather by far, Although a wet bottom!!

Today was the earliest start so far, a 0600 alarm followed by walking on the moor at 0715, best time of the day. As you can see from a selection of my images I spent most of the day in one place, Dunkery all the way!! I managed to position myself downwind from the deer with a big hill as cover, the only problem I had was to sit in a small stream as punishment for my position, and unfortunately my trousers were not waterproof so I spent 3 hours with a wet behind!! Not good, but what a position to view today's action! I could go on but needless to say the deer were completely oblivious of me and carried on there daily routine, eating, sleeping cleaning and flirting. The main stag with his head up belling was the king of the hill today securing 28 females, stealing 12 from a rival stag, who in my opinion could have taken him, but who am I to argue? The young black stag on the blog is going to be the future Majestic stag, such lovely antlers and great black colour indicating good genes, so in 6-7 years he will be there kicking ass!! Only my opinion which doesn't count for much:))) It was a very vocal day with the big fella calling constantly, any challenger in the vicinity would do well to keep away. Although not a Royal, he had one good pair of lungs!! First Pic's, 2 x young Stags, Second two the big fella belling, the fifth was the happy man with the ladies, the sixth and seventh was a bit of a kiss and tell, and finally the eighth was the dominant stag chasing away a rival. No wine tonight!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 10, A wet start, but all is not lost!!

Today started out to be a wet one, but between showers it showed sign's of improvement. I started off at Dunkery Beacon with a Three a top stag leaping in front of me on the way back to the car, which was a Billy bonus; I think I was more surprised than him!! Just before I got back to the car I came across a small number of Golden Plover in there winter Plumage, really nice to see, although rather tricky to photograph!! After leaving Dunkery "B" I decided to head to a quiet woodland spot, a name which will stay on the QT!! As I travelled through the woodland in stealth mode I came across a young deer all on his/her own, we spent an hour working each other out which was a lovely experience. We eventually parted company and headed in our designated directions!! My last port of call was a known spot for a veteran Red Deer Stag, who has just passed his best but still has one hell of a voice. And just as I was about to leave he made a guest appearance and did not let me down. I was fully Camed up, behind a tree, we had what seemed like an age of staring at each other, but eventually he couldn't work out what I was so he continued onwards!! Another unforgettable time once again!! You must forgive my spelling and grammar; I'm on my second bottle of Red!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Day 9 on the Moor

Another fine weather day on Exmoor, an 0730 start, which was rather chilly with the car windscreen iced over, but a perfect morning to get out and about!! My photographer friend Nick departed after a rather poor weeks weather, which was a great shame, as we usually get some awesome results, but this year it was not to be. So today my girlfriend Sarah accompanied me on her first day's deer stalking, the photo's we both took were not the best but we had a laugh, and we were constantly let down by other not so cautious photographers who continually frightened the deer away causing great upset to the Red Deer stags, and also to us, but that's just Exmoor at this time of year. I managed to get one picture of a group of hinds and one Stag with all his rights, a beauty but he lost a few females because of peoples attitude towards getting a picture at all cost, even though it causes stress to the deer. And finally I captured a young hind next to a tree in a dense forest of oak and beech trees, the light was poor but due to a ray of light I captured this lone image.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

At last Some decent weather and Action on Dunkery!!

After a very disappointing 7 days on Exmoor due to weather, finally the day came for some decent images. From the images above you can see a young Brocket stag chasing a female hind, hoping for some action, but as you can see from the other images the bigger chaps were about. I heard a distant sound of two stags belling down in the valley, so I stalked the stag and hinds upwind until I came to a good viewpoint and settled down to wait. Before long a stag appeared and started to call and display some angry body language, then in came a rival stag equally matched and they began to fight right in front of me. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a head shot but I was far too close to go any further, for fear of them turning on me. That was the first time I witnessed and photographed two stags fighting, an unusual sight on Exmoor due to lack of serious competition and size of area covering 352 square miles with only roughly 2500-3000 red deer. Another photographer spotted the action and started to stalk in the wrong direction and scared all the deer away "Wally" splitting up the heard, but all in all an "awesome day"!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Wet Weather Routine!

Today's Deer Stalk was rather emotional with heavy rain and high winds, so I decided to head for cover in the forest, although i still managed to get wet,but the portable hide offered some protection. The three Hinds were feeding and walking through about 30 feet from the hide, and the young pricket stag came through on his own and only stayed for a few minutes before he caught my scent and headed off through the forest.