I love watching and filming wildlife. It’s when I feel most relaxed and happy. What could be better than sitting in a field in the middle of summer, coming face to face with two gorgeous wild animals?
This encounter happened a couple of years ago. I had actually gone out to watch foxes. Not the urban foxes that sneak around my garden, but really wild “country” foxes that live in a field at the bottom of my lane. These foxes are a lot more wary and a lot harder to video, so I had hidden myself away at the edge of the field next to a small copse.
I was ready for a long wait. As I turned round to look over the fields towards the setting sun I suddenly spotted a young roe deer no more than 40ft away. He was looking at me, so I stared back at him. We stayed like this for some time as I videoed him. His little velveted antlers were spikey and new, and he had lost his spotted camouflage coat that would have protected him so well when he was born.
As I panned back with the camera I realised that his mother was standing right next to me. Perfectly still, perfectly quiet.
If you walk into a field where deer are, and they see you, they will invariably run away. However, sit in a field, as still as you can, and they will nearly always come and check you out. They usually aren’t too sure what to make of you.
This mum just couldn’t help herself. She walked up and down, up and down, sniffing the air, occasionally barking but mainly moving her head up and down and side to side trying to suss me out. Was I a strange bush? a very large fox? a legless horse? She just couldn’t work it out. And all the time her sweet little son stood in the background, quietly munching some grass but alert to his mother’s strange behaviour.
This encounter lasted for more than 15 minutes. In the end both mother and son walked calmly through the barbed wire fence and disappeared into the wood. Another magic wildlife moment.
I didn’t bother with the foxes… they could wait for another day!
The photograph and video were both taken by me.