Today we set off in search of deer, since this is the rutting season. However we cheated slightly, and rather than looking for them in the wild, we took the easier option of visiting Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian.
The main attraction for us was the deer park, which is home to a herd of red deer, established in 1977.
Beyond the deer park is extensive woodland, criss-crossed by a network of paths and trails. Although we had a warm spell recently, autumn temperatures have started to bite, and with them the trees have started to turn to red and golden hues.
On the edge of Beecraigs Wood is Beecraigs Loch, surrounded by trees.
Abundant fish stocks make it popular both with anglers and birds. On a small island in the loch we spotted a pair of cormorants – or they may possibly have been shags – one of which was drying its wings in the customary position.
We made our way back through the deer park, stopping several times to watch these graceful animals.
At the boundary between a deer enclosure and one for Highland cows we observed a Mexican standoff with a Scottish twist.
The stag was obviously angling for a fight, and we were treated to the spectacle of two stags fighting as he entered into a confrontation with a second younger stag. The struggle went on for several minutes before he emerged victorious.