Friday, 15 March 2013

Wollaton Deer Park

After a week of bad weather I was itching to get out into the open with my camera so on Monday I visited Wollaton Deer Park in Nottingham. As the Fallow Deer (Dama dama) were near the car park I decided to pay them a visit first as I have rarely had the chance to photograph them before. 

The dominant Fallow Deer (Dama dama) Stag at Wollaton.

At this point the weather and the light were relatively good. However as predicted this was going to change. There was suddenly a blast of very cold wind, the light faded and then the snow came.

A female Fallow Deer preparing for the snow shower.

I was keen to wait it out to see what the herd of Fallow Deer would do. I quickly realised that this was a bit more of a fleeting snow flurry. Within a couple of minutes the visibility had quickly dropped to around 20 metres, everything had gone white, including me, my camera gear and the deer themselves. The wind which still hadn't let up was now hurling fine snow flakes which had begun forming drifts. It was really quite uncomfortable to be in. The deer had by now huddled together under a tree.

The herd was now on it's feet and began huddling under the nearby trees.

The visibility dropped to around 20 metres. I almost lost sight of the deer.

As quickly as the snow had started, it stopped, the sun would come out and melt away the snow. After half an hour another snow shower would turn up and the whole process would begin again. This happened six times while I was at Wollaton.

Eventually I decided to leave the deer to see what was going on at the lake. I wasn't to be disappointed. A small group of Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus) consisting of seven individuals had arrived and were milling around the far side of the island in the middle of the lake. I had never seen so many together at the same time. I wasn't the only one to notice them either. A number of people came up to me to ask whether I knew what type of swan they were. Others had been speaking to the wardens who had said that they had never seen Whooper swans on the lake before.

A group of Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus) on the lake in Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

All in all it was a good day out and despite it being bitterly cold the snow showers had added some drama to the scenery.

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