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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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A trip out

Had a great day out with Trevor yesterday; starting at a very foggy Woburn, to see the deer and the rut.

Fallow Deer

Trying to get pictures in these conditions, and still keep a safe distance kept us on our toes, if nothing else. The only picture I've done so far, but I did put together a short video, to try and capture the atmosphere of the place.

From there we went on to Stockgrove Country Park. It has a new name these days :  Rushmere; but it will always be Stockgrove to me. A popular place for picnics, dog walkers, and birds. Due to the weather though, it was a bit light on all three.

The main reason for going though was to see the Mandarin Ducks that usually turn up here on the lake. Another photographer friend had mentioned there were some there at the moment. The most I've seen in the past is about thirty, but yesterday we were in for a treat!

At least fifty, if not more. Most were congregating on the island on the small lake, but there were still plenty swimming around, and generally looking stunning.

Again, a short video of these outrageously beautiful ducks.

Despite the weather, we had a great day.

Enjoy your day too


  1. Looks a magical day.....Those stags can be little devils. It's one advantage of having the dogs, they chase them.

  2. Excellent record of a great day out Keith.
    Even in the fog there was plenty to see Black Swans, duelling Deer, Egyptian Geese and the stunning sight of all those beautiful Mandarins.
    All that was missing was just a little bit more sun!!
    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the odd couple of Jays that we saw!!...lol.
    A really enjoyable day...[;o)

  3. Plenty of misty, moisty weather recently. The stags look so out of balance with those enormous 'horns'.

    The Mandarins certainly brighten up a dull Autumn day Keith.

  4. It was a perfect day Adrian.

    Certainly was a great day Trevor, especially as it was a spur of the moment thing.

    Thanks John. Those Mandarins would brighten anywhere up. :-)

  5. Wow all them Mandarins, I like the image of the deer rutting with the fog and mist. Off topic have you heard the good news of the badger cull being cancelled for a year

  6. Wow, those images are amazing and the stag video had me spellbound. Their sparring seems so ritualized--they didn't appear to want to hurt each other. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. wow! not sure which herd or flock impresses me more - both so sizable!

    i do have to say those deer are impressive! the racks on the stags are just enormous!

  8. Nice video Keith, I really must get over to Woburn one of these days to see the rut, looks a good place to go, haven't been in years!
    The Mandarin duck is a lovely bird, very short of any locally this year though. The last photo of the drake is superb!
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  9. A wonderful post Keith... and you really captured the moments well.
    Amazing to see all the Mandarins..

  10. Regardless of the fog, it must have been great to spend such a day with your friend, a photographer as well. I enjoy opportunities when both I and my husband go somewhere and take pictures, I find it very inspiring.

    The deer video is interesting - were you hidden in an observation post or just walking among the trees? You must have gained the same experience as I did when trying to photograph those fishermen in grey foggy morning.

    I really love the picture of the lake, it's perfectly seasonal. And the stunning Mandarin Ducks? They look like if someone had a vivid imagination when creating them! :)

  11. Thanks Doug.
    Yea, great news about the cull being postponed; now the government need to vaccinate, instead of slaughter.

    Thanks JoLynne. The two stags were walking side by side to begin with, and then just turned, faced each other, and began to fight.

    Thanks Theresa. It is amazing to see these deer so close like this.

    John, I'm lucky to live so near to Woburn. Some good birds there too. A pair of Black Swans have raised three cygnets there this year.

    Thanks Andrew. It was good being amongst all the action.

    Petra, we were just walking amongst the trees; deer either side of us. It's just a matter of giving them the respect, and distance.

  12. Such a lot to like on this post Keith. The photos were all lovely but the one of the lake with the trees reflected was stunning. The videos were great too, part of the stag encounter was almost balletic I thought.

    I have still to see even one Mandarin locally, they are incredibly attractive.

  13. You and Trevor had a wonderful day out, and you got the best of the Mandarins.

  14. I love, love, love this post, Keith. The image of the fallow deer, fighting in the fog, blew me away. Then the video topped it off. The dreary day made the colors just pop in the scene with the lake. And your "outrageously beautiful" is about as perfect a description for the mandarin ducks as any I could come up with.

  15. Love that first Deer shot Keith. Really captures the atmosphere of a rut. And that amount of Mandarin Ducks in one place is just astonishing.

  16. Fabulous photos of the Deer and the Mandarin Ducks. Also the videos are great. Thanks for having us come along on your adventures.

  17. Great pictures and video Keith well done.

  18. WOW the deer are magnificent!! And the mandarin ducks are too...what a great day trip y'all had.

  19. A day like this is pure magic. Im in aww at the beauty you have shared her. Amazing. Just amazing.

  20. Thanks Jan. We had a packed day. Like Trevor said earlier, I hadn't included the pair of Black Swans with 3 cygnets, the Black Squirrels, Egyptian Geese, and all the other birds. Fantastic. And topped off with toasted cheese sandwich, and coffee. lol

    Thanks Bob. Yea, a great time.

    Thank you Linda. A memorable day for sure.

    Thanks Adam. I was really surprised just how many Mandarins there were. Must have had half the country's population here. lol

    Thank you Horst. A great day worth sharing. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you Bob. A shame the weather wasn't better, but we take what we get :-)

    Sondra, it was perfect. A day to remember.

    Thank you Lisa. Nature certainly puts on a great show. Glad you enjoyed it.

  21. Great videos Keith especially the deer and those ducks are beautiful. When is this awful weather going to lift.?

  22. Thanks Roy.
    I hope it all clears by tomorrow; going to Rutland Water.

  23. Hi Keith,
    I don't think the weather would have bothered me in such a day! Except because I would not have been able to take pictures ;-) But man, your two videos shootage are gorgeous and I would love to see a mandarin duck (only one you know ;-) ), so if you could send one over here that would be nice ;-)

  24. Thanks Chris.
    I'm sure we can spare a couple of Mandarin Ducks for you lol

  25. Cracking stuff again Hairy . I too love "Stockgrove Pk " :-)

    And am planning a wee trip to Woburn for some deer rutting on saturday morning . Want to get there early and try and spend a few hours there . Might even take a flask ;-)

  26. Lovely set of pictures. The deer fight - well captured. Love Mandarin ducks:-)

  27. Cheers Mark. It's well worth the visit.

    Thank you Linda :-)

  28. I am very impressed by the fight on that first video!!! The last image is breathtaking!

  29. Thanks Dominic. Those fights can be spectacular to witness.