Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Brief encounter.

Had a brief return visit to the Deer Park the other day,

but the only deer I could get close to, was this inquisitive beauty.
We stood and stared at each other for a while, both not wanting to move. I slowly turned to take some shots of the distant stags,
and when I’d turned back, my admirer had disappeared. I took a slow walk along my permitted footpath, a slight detour, (naughty), and then made my way back again.
Plenty of birds around, Coal Tit, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker…………but all too camera shy. Oh well, can’t always get the pictures we want.
As I walked through the small wood, on the way back to the car park, I heard a strange rattling call from a Yew tree. I managed a brief glimpse, eventually, but again no picture.
This one had me totally baffled. I’ve looked through various books I have, but can’t for the life of me get an ID. Small, Robin sized, with a brown body. The head reminded me of a Dunnock, grey ish coloured, and the tail, cocked like a Wren, and a reddy brown colour. No idea what it was. The nearest I could get was a Dartford Warbler; but surely not?
More investigation needed another time I think.
One animal I did recognise though,
a Black Squirrel. Not something seen everyday, but apparently some areas of the country have thriving populations.


  1. Hi Keith, it looks like you have found a really good place to add to your regular visiting list.

  2. You shared an awesome moment with that sweet looking Doe--there used to be black very shiney squirrels with a bit of white on the chest around here but its been quite a few years since Ive ran into one! I have no clue what your mystery bird could be... I hope you see it again!

  3. I didn't know, until now, that there are black squirrels. What a long tail it has. Lovely portrait of the deer.

  4. That's a pretty deer, nice and close it looks too. I don't think I've ever seen I black squirrel. I wonder if we have those here in the states?? Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  5. i again enjoyed the walk. I found out that what I thought was a robin a few weeks back is actually a Rufous-bellied Thrush (sabia-laranjeira or sabia-de-barriga-vermeliha) and quite common in all of Brasil.

  6. Wow, a very nice encounter you did. I can imagine you too much just not moving at all to get THE shot. I love the group shot too and the black squirrel is exquisite. Well done.

  7. What lovely ears on that doe!

  8. Thanks Roy. The walk through the small wooded area, and then onto the deer park has some great potential for birds I think. Two fairly quick visits so far, has produced 25 different species, and one unknown. Plus the bonus of deer. Can’t wait to go again.

    Dixxe, thank you. These particular black squirrels appear to be black all over, and very shiny, glossy coats. The last time I saw them was about 20 years ago, when I lived in Hertfordshire.
    I’m hoping next visit will turn up better and longer views of this mystery bird. :)

    Thanks John. There’s quite a large population of them at Letchworth, Herts., and a few other places nearby. They are slowly spreading.

    Diane, thank you. From what I’ve managed to find out so far, our black squirrels were supposedly imported, (legally or otherwise), from America. A quote from Wikipedia says, ‘Large natural populations of black squirrels can be found throughout Ontario, and in several parts of Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.’ Fascinating reading as to their origins.

    Thanks Chris. A short visit came up with some interesting finds; even though the camera didn’t capture them all.

    Thanks Wilma. The ears reminded me of two large sattelite dishes. She certainly knew when I moved, however slowly, and I thought, quietly.

  9. Keith - very nice deer. What a great moment it was. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks Ginger. I’m usually pretty good with the ID’s of the regular birds here; it’s when I come across a new one to me, that I start to doubt what I’ve seen.
    Last year I managed to spot a Great Reed Warbler, second in our county since 1946. It took a lot of personal convincing as to what it was. Eventually confirmed by the local county recorder. I hope to catch up with my mystery bird again, to find out what it is.

  11. Beautiful pictures of a great blog, congratulations.

  12. Goodness, a BLACK squirrel. Never seen one of those. The Dartford Warbler's tail is 'cocked' but it's a lot longer than the Wren's tail. Other than offering that titbit of information I have no ideas. Loved the picture of the solo deer, he looked somewhat amazed to see you!

  13. Picture special, let no cuvinte.Veniti in Romania, the Danube Delta to shoot birds, there are hundreds of special species.

  14. Thank you Lenora. It was a great moment indeed. I don’t think either of us wanted to make the first move.

    Foto Lucian, thank you for your comments. Appreciated. The Danube Delta looks to be a very special place indeed.

    Thanks Valerie. I was surprised too to see the black squirrel, and pleased to catch a picture of it. As for the bird; still remains a mystery to me. More hunting required I think.

  15. I don't suppose it could have been a Wryneck could it Keith? They are sparrow sized and described as greyish and pictures I have seen remind me of a Wren, not sure if the call would be considered a rattle though but you could listen to it on the RSPB site.

    I only heard there are Black Squirrels in the UK recently and have never seen one, well done!

    Lovely deer photo! I can see you will be going there regularly.

  16. Thanks for the pointer on the mystery bird ShySongbird. I've checked a couple of books, but it doesn't quite fit the bill. Going to take a drive over there tomorrow, before work, if it's dry, and see if I can find it again.
    Might even get some better squirrel pictures :)

  17. I adore squirels, we have a few red ones where we live. I've not heard of black ones before, gorgeous! Lovely capture of the doe too.

  18. Great post Keith. Never seen a Black Squirrel.

  19. Omi, thank you. Not seen the Red Squirrel for years. Would love to see some soon.

    Thank you Angie. It seems their territory is expanding, and supposedly they are more aggressive than the grey's, and shy too. Maybe a reverse situation to the reds and greys?

  20. ...the photo of the deer in front of the estate is beautiful. The little black squirrel is a cutie. I just read we have small population of them in north-eastern Ohio--released from Canada a long time ago. I've never seen one, but I'd like to!

  21. Thanks for your comments Kelly.
    Those squirrels are pretty skittish at times, worse than some birds lol
    Off out for another try soon.

  22. That's a smashing picture of the doe, never heard of Black Squirrels, bet that doesn't surprise you. Now I have I may paint a few.

  23. Thanks Adrian. The black squirrels are gradually spreading their territories, so you might get to see one.
    The first time I’ve managed a picture of one, they’re pretty shy.