Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Knole Park 19th October

Having seen Greenie's excellent post from Knole Park last week Carol decided that as we hadn't been for ages she would like to go there on her birthday, which was yesterday. We usually use the main entrance and park in the car park near the house but for some reason the entrance was closed so we spent ages trying to find another way in. Finally ending up at Godden Green where we parked on the side of the road and walked in to the quieter end of the park.
We found some deer quite quickly but before that we found a flock of Ring necked Parakeets making a right old racket in a couple of tall trees by the entrance. We don't see them in our neck of the woods so it was nice to see these bright green birds flying around. With the sun out it reminded me instantly of Stewart Island off the Southern tip of New Zealand which is where we last saw Parakeets flying in the wild. Just a shame I couldn't get a picture of one but I will go back soon with that in mind.

So back to the Fallow Deer. They seemed quite nervous at this end of the park for some reason, presumably because there are less people, but we managed to get close enough for a couple of pictures.

We started making our way towards Knole house on the other side of the park when I saw a small butterfly flutter by. I followed it and was quite amazed to see that it was a Small Copper. In good condition too, must be a late brood. How's that for a final burst of Summer.

On the way over we came to a small row of trees which run adjacent to the walled gardens of the house and this stag was sitting comfortably in a shallow scrape all by himself. Maybe he'd had an unsuccessful rutting season but he didn't look too bothered.

There were several small groups of does in the area near the house, some with attendant stag and some without like the one below.

Under some trees past the car park was a large gathering of deer with about five or six stags. Some of the stags were lying in their scrapes but two in particular were strutting their stuff to their harems and were bellowing loudly to reinforce their right to pass on their genes to the next generation. They will appear next May or June when the bracken is high and offers cover for the young fawns.

The dark stag below was one of the individuals who were actively seeking the attention of the young ladies. And although there was none of the excitement of locked antlers that Greenie captured last week he did have a couple of bellowing run ins with the stag above when their boundaries were transgressed by each other.

Crossing back over the golf course we came across quite a few Green Woodpeckers. This is a great habitat for them and judging by their numbers they appear to be doing very well here. As ever a close approach is out of the question so I had to settle for the longer distance shot below.
The only other notable birds seen were a pair of Stonechats, but to be honest the deer took most of our interest. Next time i'll have my birding head on.


Warren Baker said...

Great Deer shots Phil. I used to go to Knole quite often, but that was before I got obsessed with my patch :-)

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant pictures of the Deer and a Small Copper. Funny, I thought that the butterfly was all up in in bed.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Could easily have met yourself and Carol at Knoll today . Decided to do Elmley first , then call in on the way home . But as usual , ran out of time , and Carol needed a hand with a couple of jobs .
We certainly had great light today and you made the most of it with the Deer shots . Shame no rutting .
Many happy returns to your Carol .
I always use the back door there , and at home .

ShySongbird said...

A very nice day out and Birthday treat for Carol (belated Happy Birthday wishes to her). Lovely photos of the deer!

I have never seen a Ring-necked Parakeet other than in photos but have heard of one sighting recently at a local garden feeder so perhaps they are getting closer.

So nice to see the Small Copper, I'm sure you still have Summer down there :)

Anonymous said...

I agree. Great photos Phil.

Jellen said...

Wonderful photos/post Phil! The stag shots are fascinating, their antlers are so beautiful. Nice shot of the small copper too.