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Male Muntjac deer enjoying the pale winter sun in our back garden; 20 Jan 2016.

His horns are short and broken stumps, seen just right of his ears.  And, on a day with a chill wind from the north, he is enjoying the sun’s slight warmth sheltering in the lee of a tall, south-facing bramble hedge.

There is a little grass in the foreground, but most of the ground is covered by last year’s dead oak leaves, which are always left covering our lawns over the winter.  A lot of small creatures spend the winter under this leaf carpet, and many thrushes – Blackbirds, Robins, Song Thrushes and Redwings – love to spend time tossing the leaves aside to get at the goodies below.  Then, in spring, our roaring motor mower (affectionately known as The Destructor) reduces this leaf debris to powder, which decays into the lawns.

There is another image in this series, and more context, here.

D800 used in DX format, with a 70-300 Nikkor giving a 450mm telephoto; 1600 ISO.


    • Thank you! However I have to say that, so far at least, this opportunity was a once off. We see these creatures quite regularly – every time we go into our kitchen we glance down the length of the garden in the hope of seeing them (we saw Red Fox a day or two back) – but usually these little deer are in nothing like so photogenic a position, and any attempt at opening a window or getting any closer brings immediate, swift flight. Still, we’ll see how things pan out. A 🙂


  1. How wonderful to get these in your backyard! and to be able to photograph them. I would be and am beside myself with excitement if I was able to photograph deer on my place….never managed as they are so very, very shy (roe deer). One day perhaps!!


    • We have had Roe in our garden too – they occur in denser habitats on Bristol’s outskirts, but the sightings of them are far rarer and I never had a camera to hand. An enduring memory from many years ago is of peeping out through our kitchen curtains very early in the day, and seeing a Roe stag eating our neighbour’s red roses!

      But these Muntjacs live in thickets near us and are seen far more often – our garden is sheltered, secluded and quiet – they have been accompanied by a simply adorable fawn.

      These Muntjacs are likewise very shy, making off at speed at the slightest noise, but we are able to view them at our leisure as long as we don’t open any windows – these shots were taken through double glazing – very much on a wing and a prayer! 🙂


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