Saturday 17 October 2009

Committee Special

As well as the proper guided walks Dad does for the public on behalf of the Friends of Kingswood (like last weekend's Deer Walk), Dad volunteered to take the Committee on an invitation-only special, starting into the forest at 06:30.

He came home positively bubbling over with excitement. Not only had the 9 of them heard and seen all sorts of normal deer stuff, but as they crept up towards the main rutting stand as a tightly packed group, Dad suddenly saw a movement and crouched. The rest of them saw this and froze, peering into the trees, thinking he'd seen something at a distance. Dad mimed "keep still, and very quiet", pointing to some bushes not 30 feet away.

Suddenly there was a "Crack" and thump and loud scrabbling noises - 2 bucks were fighting just behind the bushes, oblivious of the presence of 9 humans so close. As the photo shows, this was not a photo-opportunity, but nobody cared - they were all frozen with excitement to the spot, all the time thinking one or other of the combatants would look up and see them.

But no, these boys were too focussed, lifting their heads just to size up the opponent's next move before, crack!, their heads and antlers clashed again, thump as their forefeet hit the ground, and scrabbling as they pushed and shoved each other, battling to gain ground. Antlers rattled against each other as each deer wrestled his neck into more advantageous positions. This went on for what seemed like ages, but was probably only 5 minutes, before very suddenly, the buck on Dad's left turned and fled, hotly pursued by the other, crashing through the scrubby birch at full speed, missing the humans by only yards, still apparently unaware of the spectators.

It doesn't get much better than that, said Dad and suddenly everyone was chattering excitedly at once. Brilliant, they all agreed! After that they went back to normal stalking and creeping about but everyone knew they'd probably seen the best view of the day, and didn't really mind if they never saw another deer!


1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

Now that musty have been really cool, would love to have seen that