Today was an appropriate day for the first post to this site. A good Spring day with lots of sunshine meant I was sat on the dam wall of the old Barbrook Reservoir listening to the first skylark of 2011 singing its heart out. On the hillside in front of me about 200 yards away 8 or 9 red deer browsed contentedly ignoring my presence entirely. In the distance a walker appeared on the skyline coming towards me and disappeared into a dip. Moments later a herd of at least 80 red deer came charging in my direction - disturbed by the walker. On seeing me they came to a sudden halt. In all the years I have been coming up here this is the largest group I have seen together. The Peak Park wardens reckon there are around 130 deer in total on Big Moor but the maximum I have ever seen in one group is little over 30. At rutting time the males are of course deadly enemies but they soon become friends again once winter approaches. The question must be why such a large gathering all in one place? Frustratingly I only had my compact camera which did not do justice to the scene.