A Very Exciting Evening

Tuesday was a terrible day of rain but at about 6 or so the rain stopped and out came the sun. I was desperate to get out of the house and into the air and took myself off to my favourite bit of fenland about 15 mins drive from my house.

I went particularly to do some photos to compare with the ones I took in February when we had snow as the fens are now covered in rapeseed plants, but that’s for another post.  I also have a particular shot I’m trying to get and if I do get it I’ll be sure to post it.

Anyway I found myself out in the fen following a pair of what I think were red grouse ( anonymous below – alias Caroline a vet friend-has suggested they are red-legged Partridge and when googled she is quite right! ) when up popped this in the distance…

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I was VERY excited I can tell you. Not least because I knew it was a deer but didn’t recognise what type of deer it was at all.  ( Oh and you can just see the head of the partridge bottom left of the picture which quickly got forgotten )

So I set about following the deer as the sun was dropping; this was a leisurely follow lasting a good half hour or more.  I was getting quite close when he jumped across a narrow waterway where it was impossible for me to follow.. grrrrrrr

 So these other couple of shots are taken from a bit of distance but still close enough for me to enjoy the encounter very much.

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There was a second waterway which you can see to the left of the picture where all the reedy stuff is and  you can see the mist starting to rise to the left..

 but………..

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…. there was a 2nd deer which I had not seen before; a female and here she is making her escape, the male I had been following was disappearing to the right of the picture and this was the last I saw of them. It was getting quite dark so home I went.. very happy indeed and with my spirits lifted.

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Oh ! and the answer to what type of deer they were ? Well I’ve discovered that they’re called Chinese Water Deer with faces a bit like a teddy bear and with primitive tusks; the males being longer than the females extending below it’s jaw. You can just about see the tusks on either side of its face in the photos above of the male.  All very odd!  I had never heard of Chinese Water Deer until I saw these which made it all the more thrilling !

You can read about them here   on the British Deer Society.  Here’s a quote from the website – 

“Chinese water deer were first kept at London Zoo in 1873 but escaped from Whipsnade Zoo after introduction there in 1929. Originally being centred around their site of escape they slowly spread to surrounding areas of suitable habitat.

Introductions into deer parks around the country, and subsequent escapes and releases, have facilitated their spread, although wet habitats in the fens of Cambridgeshire and the Norfolk Broads seem to provide them with the best habitat in which to thrive.”

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 The photos are deceptively bright and that’s because these are my first photos shot in RAW… now I am completely hooked !!

There will be more photos from this rather enchanting couple of  hours in the Fens; a place which is fast becoming a favourite to visit with my camera.

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If you care to you can read my other blog 1500 saturdays here

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40 thoughts on “A Very Exciting Evening

  1. Chinese Water Deer? Tusks?! Sometimes I think someone just makes all this up. The variety of species truly amazes me. Great post; sounds like a serendipitous adventure!

    • Oh thank you Unsssouthernbelle. It really pleases me that you say you feel as though you are there as I hope to create photos that tell a story and help people “feel” the atmosphere I was in.

  2. What lovely deer, they look much cuter and more cuddly than Muntjak. Oh, and I think your grouse might be a red legged Partridge, although I can’t see his legs!

    • Thank you so much “anonymous one” you are quite right they were red-legged partridge since you suggested that I have googled and that was what I saw. I’ve altered the post now 😀

  3. Great post. I would have been tickled pink if I had found these deer. Good for you starting to shoot in RAW. If you are like me, you will never go back to jpegs.

  4. This should be the lucky moment for you dear Helen, how nice, she is looking at you and following you… Oh my dear, these are amazing photographs. Thank you, Thank you, with my love, nia

  5. How lovely! It’sooo exciting to come accross wildlife on ones ramblings and then being able to shoot them like that…Marvellous!!!
    Btw, does that rapeseed just grow wild or are there planted fields of it? The yellow is so bright and lively, isn’t it? Spring is wonderful!!!

  6. Wow, they are really interesting looking deer. And they first one looks so interested in you. What an expression you have captured!
    Really wonderful shots, Helen. Congrats!

  7. Lovely photos, Helen. I think Chinese water deer were the models for Babycham (before your time – I will explain when I see you) – Showerings certainly kept some in their garden at Shepton Mallet.

    • Thanks Carol but I do remember Babycham !! .. I googled what you said out of fascination and discovered that the deer used for the model was said to be a “baby chamois deer” but then it goes on to say that there ws no such creature in reality and it was thought to be the Chinese Water Deer 🙂 Dying to hear the story from you!!

  8. Pingback: Saturday Skies 4 – Storm over the fens. « Helen's Photomania Blog – a 366 of sorts.

  9. Hi Helen! The “grouse” is a Red-legged Partridge -I see another comment above talks about them – I don’t think (but I might be wrong) that there are any grouse over your way. I particularly like the second photo down, where the lines of vegetation take you straight in to the alert face of the deer.

    Glad you’ve discovered RAW! Now its only SEP2, which Graham and Adrian Pym have just discovered….. Another Adrian

    • I did change it Adrian…my friend Caroline pointed it out… I take it you read it in your email where it would have the original text 🙂 I actually nearly ran over one today!!

  10. Pingback: What’s this Blogging thing all about? « 1500 Saturdays….

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