If you go down to the woods today!
Still taking an active interest in our local red deer herd. For the first time today, I heard the guttural roaring from this fine fellow, well before I came upon him. The is the same stag pictured earlier in the week, but this time I was testing the cameras high ISO performance in deep wood (which it came through admirably).
I've also been reading up on his antlers and now know that the foremost tines (or points) are called the bow tine, then moving backwards you have the bey (or bez) tine, followed by the trey (or trez) tine along the main beam before reaching the cup or crown. While I'm not sure whether the various points in the crown each count separately this fellow could have 16 tines, making him a monarch stag.
It seems we are at the beginning of the rut, some younger stags were rubbing their antlers against the tree trunks before some playful fighting and I also found a scrape where one of the stags had been working his antlers in the ground.
The other thing I now realise is how many people walk around these woods during the day. I met up with three or four dog walkers in a relatively short period during the morning. It amazed me how many said they didn't see any deer whereas I had pretty much been in contact with one or other of them throughout my walk.
I went out for a walk with L this evening back to the same area to show her the deer. We were really fortunate to come across this lovely family gathering (see extra) just before it got dark.