Those who have been following this blog for some time already know that there is something in Dublin that I love above all: the wild fallow deer of Phoenix Park. Having them so close to the city is an immense privilege: it’s like being in the middle of a forest surrounded by the most beautiful creatures… but in an urban park close to home! They amaze me and watching them during the last seasons (late winter, spring and summer), specially when the little fawns were born in summer, has been a very inspiring experience.
But there has been one moment in their life cicle that I’ve missed these last years and I that was looking forward to seeing: the breeding season, also called rut. I was very intrigued by all the photographs I’ve seen on the internet about the rutting season. And when I went to Glendalough last year, I could hear the bucks roaring in the valley but not see them. I decided then to go and see the deer of Phoenix Park but I wasn’t very familiar yet with the habits of its fallow deer and I couldn’t find them.
This year I was determined to witness the rutting season. This has been a little photographic project for me. During the last weeks I’ve visited the fallow deer regularly and I’ve been able to watch their peculiar behavior during this season. While the rest of the year the bucks and the does stay apart, during the rutting season in October the bucks move into the female area and start behaving more aggressively and territorially. They emit a rhythmic roar and often engage in wrestles with other bucks for their right to mate with the does…
After witnessing the rutting season, I can say it is one of the most stunning spectacles that nature offers in Autumn.