Snow Deer 2017

December 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

We recently had a day of relatively heavy snowfall here. Probably 20 centimetres or so in places - which is a lot for Bedfordshire! It's the most we've had in the last 10 years I think, as snow is a fairly rare occurrence these days. So like anytime it snows, I try to make the most of it and get out with my camera.

Snow not only adds an interesting additional ingredient to nature photos, but all that white really helps with the general aesthetic of the images you can get. It can simplify images, and enable minimalism and high-key opportunities too. So for all those reasons, it's a perennial favourite with nature photographers.

Manchurian Sika Deer in the snow, at Woburn in Bedfordshire.Manchurian Sika DeerManchurian sika deer in the snow

The snow made it difficult to get around as the roads were seemingly untreated, and effectively unusable without a 4x4. So I had to wait until the afternoon before I could get out to Woburn, which left me just a couple of hours there before the light started to fade.

A sika deer, coping in the freezing temperatures and falling snow of a blizzard.Sika in BlizzardA sika deer, coping in the freezing temperatures and falling snow of a blizzard.

Often when it snows, the deer at Woburn tend to stay put in the more sheltered areas, so it can be hard to find them. It's usually a case of trudging through the snow for as many hours as your motivation will allow, and hoping to encounter the odd transitory deer. Unfortunately on this occasion I couldn't find any red deer, which are my favourite species, but I did find a trio of sika deer.

Sika deer in front of a tree, surrounded by snow.Sika Snow PortraitSika deer in front of a tree, surrounded by snow.

Sika deer aren't native to the UK, but there are wild populations descending from a few introduced individuals in the 1800's. Woburn has a few Manchurian Sika Deer roaming their estate, and they're often quite timid, but in this case they were quite bold, and happy to approach me as I crouched in the snow.

Sika deer in falling snow, with trees behind.Sika in SnowfallA sika deer in the falling snow, at Woburn Deer Park in Bedfordshire.


Post by George Wheelhouse, 2017.


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