The days are becoming longer and so I leave the house at 5.30 am. The conditions at the loch are similar to those on Day 1 of this Practice Period, so I drive on to the lone silver birch tree. While the afterglow of sunrise promises to be good, I decide to return to the loch. In fact, the colours on the loch remained lacklustre and as far as my images were concerned it was disappointing.
However, as I walked slowly along the edge of the loch looking for photographic opportunities, I heard a splashing noise in the water, and it appeared to be close by. I listened more carefully, thinking it was the flow of water from a burn nearby but then the noise stopped. There must be an animal among the reeds. My immediate thought was that a sheep might have gotten stuck while trying to have a drink although that seemed unlikely as I was not in the open area where the sheep can access the water safely and easily. And even sheep know better than to do that. Then I realised that the noise was actually being made by animals at the eastern end of the loch and an emerging head confirmed that it was a Red Deer. As I watched, I was only able to catch a glimpse as one of them popped up their head. It seemed that there were three and almost certainly a mother, a youngster from a previous year and an even younger juvenile. As stags normally stay away from females except during the rut, it was not unusual to see the mother alone with its offspring. I was concerned about the depth of the water but soon decided that they have probably trodden the path many times before. I saw at least one of them find its way onto dry land and begin to climb up the Red Hills beyond. I had not seen Red Deer by or in the loch before, so this was a very exciting sighting. I am afraid that was the most exciting part of my trip. Here are a couple of images for the record!