Walking from the Car Park with a monopod over my shoulder and just one camera with lens attached seemed strange, but the lesson learned from putting the 150-600mm lens through its paces convinced me I needed nothing more to capture shots of the deer in the park – I would certainly not need something shorter than 150mm, unless I broke the rules or risked serious injury!
No sooner had I entered by the Lodge gate than I spotted a lone doe on the edge of the wood, and because of the persistent rumble from cars running over the grid and their general noise, it had not spotted or heard me, so I managed two shots before entering the main park. Three species of deer were in the immediate vicinity of long thin lake by the entrance kiosk, and seemed to be heading inexorably towards its inviting waters, so I never actually needed to venture further. Speaking to one of the wardens I learned one species had already rutted, and if I came in a fortnight’s time I’d witness the next.
I spotted both affection and rivalry amongst the stags, and it was very relaxing to observe them at a distance that favoured the lens I was using, namely the new Tamron. Yes it was a fair weight, but it was reasonably well balanced on the monopod, though undoubtedly a tripod would have been an improvement, but the weight was not justified due to the distance from my car. I am really happy with the results I achieved, and I think I see some really early morning starts a-coming.