E.J.Wilkins

29 Jan 2008 683 views
 
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photoblog image Sika Deer

Sika Deer


Family Group

Last Sunday, when we went for a walk in the New Forest near Beaulieu, we saw a group of Sika Deer. (*edit 01/02/08 - At first incorrectly identified as Red Deer) It's the first time I've ever seen these deer in the wild. We were able to watch them for quite a few minutes until they caught our scent.

I'm indulging myself this week and will be posting a picture of these beautiful animals each day until Saturday. All the pictures were taken with my Olympus E-400 and the 'kit' 40-150 mm lens.

Here's the group as we first spotted them. Most of the females are happily eating, but the three stags have worked out that there are intruders - although they aren't particularly worried.

I think the wind was helping us, it was blowing slightly towards us (away from the deer) so didn't carry our human scent towards them.

The trees you can see are Oak. I think the deer might be eating moss, holly leaves or perhaps last season's acorns, there doesn't seem to be anything else on the ground.
.

Sika Deer


Family Group

Last Sunday, when we went for a walk in the New Forest near Beaulieu, we saw a group of Sika Deer. (*edit 01/02/08 - At first incorrectly identified as Red Deer) It's the first time I've ever seen these deer in the wild. We were able to watch them for quite a few minutes until they caught our scent.

I'm indulging myself this week and will be posting a picture of these beautiful animals each day until Saturday. All the pictures were taken with my Olympus E-400 and the 'kit' 40-150 mm lens.

Here's the group as we first spotted them. Most of the females are happily eating, but the three stags have worked out that there are intruders - although they aren't particularly worried.

I think the wind was helping us, it was blowing slightly towards us (away from the deer) so didn't carry our human scent towards them.

The trees you can see are Oak. I think the deer might be eating moss, holly leaves or perhaps last season's acorns, there doesn't seem to be anything else on the ground.
.

comments (26)

  • Martin
  • United States
  • 29 Jan 2008, 00:24
I like your foray into wildlife photography!
EJWilkins: I enjoyed it too Martin, something I would happily do every day of the week smile
  • Jewlya
  • United States
  • 29 Jan 2008, 01:31
It's nice how the twists of the antlers are mirrored in the twisting branches above.
EJWilkins: You've got it! I thought that too, and it's amazing camouflage as well even though they must be unwieldy - they look as if they've got remarkably strong neck muscles.
Jewlya's observation is a good one.

I like the comic touch of the deer tilting its head to look around the tree it is so poorly hidden behind.
EJWilkins: It's right though, about the antlers, they almost add camouflage. The stag 'behind' the tree bent down immediately after I'd taken this picture and carried on eating!
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 29 Jan 2008, 03:43
Brilliant image, Ellie. The setting is as interesting as the main subject, and the lighting works well.
EJWilkins: You know Ray I'd realised I hadn't shown anybody the real Forest, just ponies and things. This is what a lot of the 'Forest' is like, almost natural 'native' woodland. There are areas of forestry too - conifers, and also areas of march and heathland. The whole area is beautiful.smile
  • Astrid
  • The Netherlands
  • 29 Jan 2008, 04:44
Breathtaken, this is a brilliant shot, you are lucky and very cool, I almost can hear your hearbeat grin, in such a short time you got it all perfect, I love the lighting.
EJWilkins: The sunshine helped a lot, well, we wouldn't have gone for the walk if it'd been raining. We were so lucky smile
As I said, Ellie, what a treat! Lovely shot. I like the light. It really is rare for them to stay in camera shot for long. (:o)
EJWilkins: They were still there after we'd left, just a little bit deeper into the trees. I'd doubt they'll go anywhere near the paths soon, because people will be out walking their dogs, and they get chased.
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 29 Jan 2008, 06:33
I had a chance to see something like this in Hannover, Ellie, when we lived near the Tiergarten there. It is the most wonderful thing to behold. Nature in all her glory, as it should be.
EJWilkins: I imagine the Tiergarten to be something like Richmond Park, would that be right? They are sooo amazing aren't they smile
Dear oh deer. richard
EJWilkins: Oh deary me, hope you can manage to stay with me through to the end of the week wink
  • Ann
  • SucÚ sur Erdre - France
  • 29 Jan 2008, 08:10
Beautiful shot !!! They are just magic. A friend of mine has a family of them in his big garden and we could feed them ... My eldest daughter, Victoria really enjoyed it !!!

Thank you for the souvenir ... Great tones on this shot !!!
EJWilkins: How lucky to be able to feed deer. There is a Sanctuary to the north of the Forest, they take care of any injured deer and also feed during the winter, but most of the animal visitors there are Roe Deer.
I love the colour here, very rich.
EJWilkins: You can see it was sunny smile
  • Dave Wilkins
  • Recovering from surgery in Ireland
  • 29 Jan 2008, 10:48
There's something about certain large animals that we really connect to as humans for some reason. Deer are right up there for me. We have these in the 'wild' in Dub;in's Phoenix Park...when I say park, it's one of the largest in Europe. I believe only Richmond Park in London is bigger. I must go see how I get on. Thanks for the idea!!
EJWilkins: Glad I gave you something interesting to do. I look forward to seeing your pictures, you're sure to get some good ones. You're right, there is 'something' about certain mammals that we find appealing.
  • Pops
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Jan 2008, 11:19
Must have been a wonderful experience.
I notice the ladies left all the guys to take care of things smile
EJWilkins: It was, truly wonderful Paul - and I managed to take loads of pictures too. smile
  • Paul
  • 29 Jan 2008, 12:28
looking forward to the rest of these Ellie - this is a beauty
EJWilkins: Thanks Paul. smile
I managed to take a lot of pictures, surprisingly almost all were 'keepers', but I've managed to choose six for this week - not necessarily the best quality, but I think they work as a group.
  • Tracy
  • Stoke on Trent UK
  • 29 Jan 2008, 14:00
This is awesome Ellie, the deer looks like it's peering around the tree to get a glimpse of youtonguetongue
EJWilkins: It does rather, a moment later it was bending down again, behind the tree, happily eating.
  • gale
  • Cape of storms
  • 29 Jan 2008, 16:42
Ellie what a gorgeous site to see. It must make you feel one with them when they carry on grazing while you are close by.The light is wonderful.
EJWilkins: The light is sunshine, it was a lovely day for a walk. smile We were lucky, it's a moment to treasure.
Very nice capture Ellie. Great lighting
EJWilkins: Thanks Richard - the lighting is that strange thing called sunshine - we haven't seen it for a long time. smile
  • aksel
  • Sweden
  • 29 Jan 2008, 17:51
Beautiful deers, it's almost like I can hear them...
EJWilkins: Ah, now that's a point - I've realised that they didn't make a sound. No noise at all, no alarms, nothing.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 29 Jan 2008, 18:38
Yes they are not worried, maybe they know the difference between a rifle and camera smile

Great find and thanks for sharing.
EJWilkins: I really don't know why they weren't too worried, we were talking normally until we saw them and then managed to get within about fifty yards - quite close. We didn't try to get any nearer because it didn't seem fair. Only the one stag ran off, we thought he might be quite young and nervous.
Thanks Louis smile
  • Catalpa
  • Newcastle
  • 29 Jan 2008, 19:06
You really snook up on them. Well done! Nice lighting too.
EJWilkins: But that's the point - we didn't sneak up on them. They were just there, near the path and we walked through the trees towards them until we were about fifty yards away.
  • Mike
  • Germany
  • 29 Jan 2008, 19:16
Hi Ellie, these animals can sense people a mile off. When I saw some at Margam Park recently they were aware of my presence from the moment I caught a glimpse of them. I stalked them for ages and eventually got close enough to take some shots with my Nikon 55-200mm lens. I look forward to seeing more of your pictures of the deer and will be posting some I took last Saturday as well (subject to some cropping and so forth!!).Mike
EJWilkins: I know! This is what was so amazing, they weren't really bothered except for the one Stag who scurried away. We left them grazing, having got to about fifty yards of them - walking normally and me with my tripod!
  • PhotoSam
  • London, U.K
  • 29 Jan 2008, 19:16
lovely...
EJWilkins: Thanks Sam smile
Hi Ellie, just to let you know I'm not in Germany - it would have been too far to travel to Margam Park!!
EJWilkins: So why does your label say you're in Germany? I've been to Margham, once, a *cough* few years ago.
Nice litle family group Ellie, look forward to some more deer on the menu this week.
EJWilkins: Not edible this time Les wink
  • Blackdog
  • On the dreaded dial up again!
  • 29 Jan 2008, 22:22
Are you sure they arn't worried - they look pretty cross to me ;o) Priceless capture - I bet you were ever so excited to get this opportunity.
EJWilkins: I could have stood there watching them for ages (that rather gives the story line away) but "they" wanted them left in peace. People will be out with their dogs soon enough, and the deer will go back deep into the Forest and away from the paths.
  • Richa
  • United States
  • 29 Jan 2008, 22:24
The trees seems to be in compliment with the antlers. May be thats the camouflage.

That was really nice coincident. usually I don't have my camera when such things happen to me.sad And it has very cool lighting too. And I like the way you included the branches above. It sort of provides a frame to the shot with the two trees and the textured ground to give the other three sides...Nicely done Ellie..
EJWilkins: I don't know, all the experts seem to say the antlers are for demonstrating power, but they do seem to blend in with the trees rather well so - I agree about the camouflage.
I know how you feel, I've often seen things but without the camera. We were lucky this time. I'd gone out wanting to photograph something in particular but it didn't work out, so we just went for a walk. Pure serendipity. I'm still smiling. smile
Wonderful !

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camera E-400
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/40s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 150.0mm
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