Friday, October 22, 2010

Eversholt area

I really enjoyed an hour's wander over the fields near Eversholt.

This small deer slot is only 3cm long and almost certainly belongs to a Muntjac deer.

This deer slot is a lot more problematic. At just over 5cm long, it's too large for Muntjac, Roe, or Chinese Water Deer, but it's too small for an adult Fallow or Sika Deer. I reckon that it must be a young Fallow Deer though, in this area alongside the Woburn Abbey Estate, it could be anything!

There were hundreds of Red-legged Partridges and Pheasants strutting, calling and 'helicoptering' about. I reckon that there's at least 17 individuals present in this photo....and the majority will probably end up on someone's dinner table! There has been a debate about the effect of these game birds on the populations of other animals where they are intensively stocked (In the UK we release between 30,000,000 & 40,000,000 ever year!!). It's reckoned that there wouldn't be many Common Lizards in an area like this, for instance! If you're a Red Fox, or a Polecat, or Stoat, though, it must seem like Christmas has come early!

The photos above were taken yesterday afternoon. I returned early this morning hoping to catch some deer out in the open.

This slot is about 7cm, though there's a lot of slippage in the wet mud.

In the end, this distant male Muntjac was the only deer seen this morning, but I wonder just how many are seeing the day out in the middle of the numerous woods of this area!

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