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June

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The story begins this month with the hinds, often found away from the rest of the herd. They seem to still be looking for safe places in the woodland areas, often though quite close to the path above on the edge. Thankfully most humans stay up on the edge, so they are not too concerned at seeing one looking at them from above!



Grass and bracken seem quite popular areas to lurk in, eating grass and waiting... This one seems to have moulted more of her winter coat, so appearing much smoother. Unshed thicker winter fur can give a very shaggy and unkempt appearance, but this hind looks a lot more presentable than the previous one.



A very careful hind and calf walking through the heather and cotton grass on the moor, close to but now moving away from the secret woodland areas. She may have just bought her new born calf up from the woods, to introduce it to the rest of the herd. The red coat and white spots of the calf evolved for camouflage, although here on the moorland the redness in th…

May

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It's May and the weather can get hot and sunny. On the warmer days, stags may shelter from the heat and casual observation or disturbance by hunkering down behind features such as dry stone walls.



These antlers are well on the way to an impressive set. It takes a lot of energy and therefore food to re-grow antlers every year, so the stags must spend a lot of time grazing and then digesting their food. They may appear lazy, but in all likelihood these stags will be ruminating, digesting a full stomach of grass or other grazed or browsed plant material.



Here is a stag who has only recently shed his antlers, and has only the pedicles and the very beginnings of antler growth to display. Growing antlers is a time and energy consuming task, and begins again each year as soon as the previous years antlers are shed.



What does a stag do when feeling argumentative, if he has no antlers for the moment? Two stags here seem to be squaring up, but with only pedicles and the smallest bud of an…

April

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It's April, and the deer herd is grazing on the moorland grass, with some interesting clouds in the background. These look like lenticular clouds, more of this later. The herd now consists mainly of hinds and their younger offspring, with the stags and younger males mostly going their separate ways for a few months.



There are however some antlers still present at this time of the year, with the  young male in this photo showing a few tines. It is perhaps surprising to still see antlers with the herd at this time of the year - it won't be long until antlers are shed, when new ones begin growing immediately. The stags tend to leave the herd to form groups of males whilst their antlers regrow.



A hind and one of this years calves now well grown, are grazing together. It is difficult to tell if the mother is pregnant again, but she doesn't look overly rotund from this angle so perhaps not. The calf still has quite a fluffy winter coat, with the hind looking more well groomed i…