The deer have been rutting for a couple of weeks now and many visitors have had the chance to observe the bucks as they groan and bellow to attract females and fight with other bucks. The sound of their antlers clattering together can be heard from quite a distance and if you stop and watch quietly you will probably see the show. During the rut the males stop eating and spend their time calling to females, fighting and mating - all that energy being used up means that they can lose up to 25% of their bodyweight. The older bucks hold rutting 'stands', their own areas, so you will see bucks all over the park at this time of year. I watched this one thrashing his antlers about in the bracken before wandering off, giving himself an attractive wig?!
If you are out for a walk this week, watch out for the display of fungi on show at the moment - around the deer park and mile walk in particular. Huge parasols and field mushrooms can be seen popping up all over the place, and make good eating if you know what to look for - however, I wouldn't recommend eating any mushrooms you pick yourself unless you have had some training and experience! Edible or not, I think that fungi are fascinating things and can be quite beautiful so I always make sure I have my camera on me when I take a walk around the Park at the moment.