A chance encounter with five mature stags when out for a short stroll on the Applecross penninsular eventually afforded me some great photo opportunties. Having returned to grab my camera I was fortunate enough to find three of the stags had returned to resting in the long grass cover with the other two quietly grazing; a very similar position to how I had first seen them earlier.
The stags were aware of my presence so I was unsure how close they would allow me to approach before becoming too wary. Eventually we settled on a distance of about 25m with me on a slight ridge and the stags on the far side of some very wet ground with a ridgeline behind them and the Isle of Rona beyond. They eventually strode onto the ridge for a couple of great photo opportunities before they had decided enough was enough and decided to amble off across the moorland.
For me an added bonus was a short period of winter sun that brought a delightful golden light to the grasses and also showed the stag's coats to the best. Compared to last year the coats still have a bit of colour and are in good condition' probably due to the late rut this year and also the mild winter which has ensured plenty of food for the herds of red deer found on the West coast.