Monday, 7 October 2013

Stag Party

Followers of my blog will know I have made a few visits recently to Leighton Moss hoping to see the red deer stags in action as the rutting season had begun.On previous visits only one distant stag had been seen but last Friday all that changed.I joined a number of other observers and photographers in the Grisedale Hide and awaited the action.Much bellowing had been going on from the reedbeds as the stags advertised their presence.Around 2.30pm a young stag appeared and seemed very nervous,other stags were obviously nearby.Then one by one the big stags came out of hiding and treated us all to some magnificent views as they strutted their stuff in front of the hide.
The young stag thought better of it and retreated to the safety of the reedbeds and left the older stags to compete for dominance.There was no physical contact but plenty of vocal action with much roaring and bellowing from the big males as they faced each other on the island in front of the hide.The stand off lasted about ten minutes or so and then one of the stags retreated back into the reedbeds.The big stag remaining stood by the tree on the island and roared very loudly frightening the teal close by into panic mode.Two other stags were nearby but kept well away. One of them seemed a particularly big stag as his antlers could just be seen above the reeds and it was thought he may be a fourteen pointer.I may be lucky to see this one on a future visit.After half an hour or so the action was over and everybody present went away very happy having seen a wonderful display from the red deer of Leighton Moss.
I have shown a few images above of these magnificent beasts and hope you enjoy them as much as I certainly did in taking them.For those of you who don't know BBC Autumnwatch is coming from Leighton Moss at the end of this month and some of the big boys above may be appearing on our television screens. Thanks for looking in.    


  1. Well Brian,seems like youv`e caught up with the stags at long last,some fantastic pictures for us all to admire.Catch up with you soon!!!

  2. Excellent set of the rutting seasons stag Red Deer Brian, you can almost hear them roaring....Brilliant.

  3. I can only echo Paul and Pete`s comments Brian on a wonderful set of images of the red deer.

  4. After seeing Autumnwatch last night I reckon this lad above was featuring in their filming! I was going to have a look myself while up there this next week but now that its unfortunately clashing with the BBC being present I will probably give it a swerve till later in the month! I've never forgotten one very early morning walk to the hides (about 5am!) the stags were bellowing all over the reserve - then one kicked off very close - I could feel the sound in my chest never mind hear it - it makes the hairs go up on my neck just thinking about it was so magical in the dark!!!