April 18, 2011

Father and son rivalry is back in the parish. The return of grass growth over the past week has drawn the Roe deer out of their winter quarters. Last year’s offspring have turned out to be, as I suspected, one of each sex.

The young buck, with this year’s antlers still covered in velvet, is annoying his father just by being there. In the soft morning light, the youngster generally keeps a respectful distance, but when he strays too close his father runs at him making him jink, swerve and put a few more yards in between. Over the next few weeks both bucks will scratch the velvet from their antlers and the competition will start in earnest.  It will be interesting to see how long the youngster is tolerated within the family group.

November Deer

November 1, 2010

The Roe group are fit and well – the doe and the two well grown fawns quietly graze on the fallow near the Belt Wood at first light on All Hallows day. The bulkier of the two fawns is clearly a male and this is shown in the way he moves – the youngster has presence. 

Watching deer really extends your knowledge of descriptive terms. This is generally the case when describing any creature which is either a quarry species such as deer, or for any case where a a creature is used for hunting as with falcons and falconry. 

Their coats or pelage clearly show a dark chocolate strip along the top of their backs grading down to a rich tawny brown along their flanks. The underside of their lower jaw or the gorget is picked out with two white marks.. The white rumps which are very marked and seem to act as the group’s visual signal to each other are, rather depressingly, known as the target.