Sandy Point Park near Annapolis, Maryland has a herd of White-tailed deer and they can be best seen just after sunrise grazing on the grass near the picnic areas. After enjoying a beautiful sunrise, I headed over to where I knew they liked to be and hoped I would get a chance to find some fawns.
There is at least one doe this season that has two babies, and I came across one little family. At first they were rather shy and mom kept her intent eye on me, and began to approach. She then decided she had enough of me and with a loud Huff they leaped off to another area.
I got back into my car and slowly drove to where they went. This time, I stayed in my car using it as a blind and they soon settled down and continued to graze.
I wasn’t in the best sun angle and the sun back lit the deer, but I had to take the position I could get without disturbing the deer. I also wasn’t crazy about all of the park ‘stuff’ that was in the background. The road, the picnic tables, the orange cones they still had out from the weekend but I had to work with what I had. I waited for them to pose a little for me, and hoped to get the two fawns together in one shot. All good things happen to those that wait.
Kept waiting, moving the car a bit here and there to keep a good position on them. Got surprised with the appearance of a Black squirrel that I’ve never seen at the park before. He leaped to a tree and began a game of chase with a gray squirrel.
Ok..back to the deer. Saw one had moved and I had to shoot over my rear view mirror. Not sure how this effect happened, but it was cool and decided to share it.
Then the best thing that could ever happen. Both of the fawns saw their mother nearby and ran over to her and began to nurse. This was one time the 600mm reach of the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II and 300mm f/4 lens was too close and I had to quickly shift to my Canon 5D Mark IV with 100-400mm lens attached.
The more I shoot with the Olympus kit, the happier I am with it. Mind you, I still prefer my full-frame sensor with the Canon 5D Mark IV and 1DX, but for a quick grab for 600mm reach and can walk about with it the Olympus kit is great. Also, I am beginning to crop the images and amazingly they are holding up fairly well to additional crop.
As a wildlife photographer that uses a car frequently as a blind, having two cameras with varying focal lengths is helpful to get the full reach needed. Of course, having something simpler like the Tamron or Sigma 150-600mm lenses is a great way to go. But I must confess, I am just a little bit of a pixel peeper and like to see detail in my subjects when I zoom in. With my experience, the Tamron lens just didn’t quite make the cut for me, even with using the Canon 1DX unless it was in full light and stabilized.
This is the best experience I’ve ever had with a doe and her fawns. Spending over a half an hour with them, quietly letting the world wake up around us before they moved into the woods for the remainder of the day. Only one other time have I had such a close encounter and that was at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park. A Doe and her fawn were grazing near the meadow and I sat down on the grass to get a different perspective. Sitting quietly there, the fawn started grazing closer and closer to me then was less than 10 feet away from me. I didn’t dare move for fear of something happening, but she eventually moved away. To be so close to nature and being a part of their world is something magical. A true gift that nature can give.