markhorrell's picture

Red deer stag

Observed: 23rd July 2012 By: markhorrellmarkhorrell’s reputation in Mammalsmarkhorrell’s reputation in Mammals
Species interactions

No interactions present.


the naturalist man's picture

Fallow deer stag

This is a fallow deer stag as they are the only ones in the UK with palmate antlers, as noted by Gill.

The missing spots mark this as of the 'white' variety, which can be a pale sandy colour as here.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

sevenoysters's picture

Red Deer Stag

I have added to iSpot a photo of a Red Deer Stag that is very similar to this animal. In particular the ears have almost identical markings and the proportion of the head to the antlers is also very close. My photo was taken last year on the Isle of Mull - it is definitely a Red Deer and I'm pretty certain that the animal here is also a Red Deer. I have not seen a photo of a Fallow deer that has these black or dark markings on the ear. ( compare the ears on the left side of the photos ) The antlers of the Red Deer sometimes form a crown which is what I think you can see here.

Syrphus's picture

I am sure this is Fallow. I

I am sure this is Fallow. I can't comment on the ears, but this animal is far too pale below for Red.


I will go with TNM's comments below, but would still question in the light of the hybrid possibility whether this really is a Red. As he says, the colour is very odd for a Scottish Red, and as it is something in a park collection all is possible.


recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

sevenoysters's picture

Cannot be a Fallow

On this animal, a Red Deer, the first 3 points, proceeding up the antler, are called the brow, the bey, and the trey. The bey point begins close to the brow point and it is shorter than the brow or the trey points.
The Fallow Deer never has this shorter bey point. There are just two points, still named the brow and the trey, before the palmate part of the antler. The names are derived from the days when hunting was the sport of our Norman kings ( Richard Jefferies - Red Deer 1884 )
Also see

sevenoysters's picture

Red Deer confirmed

If you look closely at the animal's left ear you can see a red tag which indicates that it is a farmed animal. I have checked with the Havelock Deer Farm which is adjacent to Wakehurst Place and they have confirmed that this is one of their Red Deer, bred from Scottish stock. This is the tag they use and the location is inside one of their enclosures.

markhorrell's picture

Red deer - further confirmation

Likewise I also checked this with Kew Gardens. The photo was taken in one of the fields below Wakehurst Place (which I assumed to be part of Wakehurst Place but may in fact be privately owned). They replied with the following:

"I have spoken to one of our rangers who confirms that the photograph is of a red deer. The antlers look palmate because they are currently in velvet. "

markhorrell's picture

and thank you!

What I forgot to say was the most important bit: thanks everyone for your feedback. It's been a really interesting thread and I've learned a lot from all the comments. :-)

the naturalist man's picture

Wrong again!

I never learn - 'NEVER assume from the small photo, always enlarge'

This is an optical illusion; it is a red deer in velvet, the points overlap giving the impression of palmate antlers - this is clear when you blow the photo up to normal size.

The other red deer features are also clear. The very pale underside and generally bright colouration are puzzling, more so if they are from Scottish stock which tend to be darker than lowland, parkland animals. I'm wondering if it is a red/sika cross or the descendant of one.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

sevenoysters's picture

thanks for the ID revision TNM and Syrphus

I have photos of Red Deer from Scotland, Exmoor, Richmond Park and some Farmed animals that I saw in Yorkshire. I must say they all have darker undersides than this beast and they have a slightly more shaggy appearance overall. If we had all spotted the red tag in the first place .......... anyway thanks for all your interesting comments and for revising your IDs. It's usually me who gets it wrong !