Amazing photos of rare, secretive white deer

A rare white fallow deer looks around after emerging from a wood in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop

A rare white fallow deer looks around after emerging from a wood in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

There’s a ghostly glint in the low sun bouncing off the autumn leaves as Doe White emerges daintily from the woods.

Doe White lives with a herd of fallow deer in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop

Doe White lives with a herd of fallow deer in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

After a fallow buck leaves cover and checks all’s clear, his harem follows. Among the half-dozen fawn-coloured females, one is whiter than them all.

They graze the field margin as the buck keeps watch, pausing to sniff the air and prick their ears up from time to time.

Such are the amazing sights which send my spirits soaring in lockdown - the wealth of wildlife which is out there to enrich us all.

The occasional car flashes past oblivious as I tuck my elbows in to keep the camera and long lens steady. I’m zoomed out to the max, a field away.

A fallow buck emerged first, before his harem including Doe White Picture: Chris Bishop

A fallow buck emerged first, before his harem including Doe White Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


I’m lost in the moment as I track Doe White through the viewfinder. But my camera doesn’t care how rare or beautiful she is. She’s just 1/1,000 of a second at f/5.6. I need faster to be sure I can catch her. Can I hold it steady enough to get her sharp as she snaps in and out of focus?

I under-expose to quicken the shutter. I take a deep breath, hold it for a moment and hit the button as I breathe out slowly.

Most Read

Click-click-click-click, click-click-click-click, I fill my boots for a moment or two. Doe White throws a suspicious glance in my direction, twitching her ears. Her sisters follow suit as the buck looks up and lofts his antlers.

I can’t believe they can hear the camera at this distance, let alone catch my scent against the breeze. But something tells me this encounter won’t last much longer.

Doe white and her herd-mates are incredible shy Picture: Chris Bishop

Doe white and her herd-mates are incredible shy Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Then a pheasant comes clattering out of the undergrowth, startling the herd. Spooked deer bound away into the woods like rabbits and the photocall is over. I drive home a richer man.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust later said it receives a couple of reports of wild white fallow sightings in the county each year. The unusual colouration is caused by a mutation.

Doe White and her herd-mates prick their ears up Picture: Chris Bishop

Doe White and her herd-mates prick their ears up Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Doe White and the seven deer Picture: Chris Bishop

Doe White and the seven deer Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus