It’s a good day for a walk in mid September, in the middle of an Indian summer with temperatures in the mid  to upper 20’s. We decided to head out for the day along the north Norfolk coast. First stop a visit in the morning to  Holkham Hall and a walk around the lake. At Holkham it’s almost guaranteed that a large heard of Fallow deer, the most social of our deer, will be gathered on the meadow area. At this time of year the bucks are just readying themselves for  the rutting season. We made our way down to the lake. There was a lot of noise with the bucks barking and grunting as they were charging around gathering the does into their harems.

Fallow Deer Buck at Holkham Hall


Fallow Deer Buck at Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall Park

Although not yet fully into rutting the bucks seemed to be gathering at the edge of a group of does. Many who were still suckling this years fawns and making the most of the September sunshine. The walk around the lake to check out the birds and the nature trail produced views of a number of Great Crested Grebes still feeding this year’s brood. Together with a number of little grebes with chicks in tow. It was still fairly early in the day but the warm weather had brought out the dragonflies. This provided us with opportunities to get some shots of them in flight and mating in the reedbeds at the far end of the lake.

Ruddy Darter


Ruddy Darter

Four-spotted Chaser


Four-spotted Chaser

Male Southern Hawker


Male Southern Hawker

Southern Hawkers mating


Southern Hawkers mating

Walking back through the woods we came across number of small groups of does and young bucks grazing in the dappled light. 

Fallow Doe Buck at Holkham Hall


Fallow Doe Buck at Holkham Hall

Young Fallow Deer Buck at Holkham Hall


Young Fallow Deer Buck at Holkham Hall

Back on the open meadow we tried to get some images of the  very skittish bucks that seemed to be eyeing up the does The main group seemed less relaxed than we had seen them before as they were now moving off as the buck moved into the group.

 Fallow Deer Buck gather its Does at Holkham Hall


Fallow Deer Buck gather its Does at Holkham Hall

Along the coast to Titchwell

After a snack at Holkham we moved along the coast to the reserve at RSPB Titchwell marsh. The good weather had brought out a large number of  visitors together  with numerous dragonflies.  Although getting shots of them in flight proved  impossible we did manage to photograph one devouring a beetle after catching it in mid flight

Southern Hawker feeding on a beetle


Southern Hawker feeding on a beetle

Southern Hawker feeding on a ladybird


Southern Hawker feeding on a ladybird

Already some of our winter bird visitors are arriving although the majority usually turn up in October. There were a number of Dunlin, Godwits, and Ruff on the freshwater marsh.

Dunlin on the freshwater Marsh at Titchwell


Dunlin on the freshwater Marsh at Titchwell

In among the reeds on the western path a pair of Bearded Tit/Bearded Reedling were showing well attracting a crowd of bird watchers and photographers.

Bearded Tit at Titchwell


Bearded Tit at Titchwell

Whilst over at Patsy’s reedbed a Great White Egret, one of two that had been in the area for a couple of weeks, was showing well. 

Great White Egret flying across Patsy's Reed-bed at Titchwell


Great White Egret flying across Patsy’s Reed-bed at Titchwell

Mute Swan Cygnet


Mute Swan Cygnet on Patsy’s Reed-bed at Titchwell