Thursday, January 6, 2011

Steppingley-Eversholt Triangle

Yesterday evening was one of those crazy nights when I finally stopped working after 3.30am. I was then left in a dilemma: should I go to bed and risk waking Carole up or not. You have to understand that, when Carole rises from her deep slumber, she sits up, looks at the clock and then wonders why she can't get back to sleep again! So, there was no dilemma really. I put some warmer clothes on, crept silently down the path and got the car out from the garage as quietly as possible.

It was just after 4am and, for the next hour, I drove up and down the deserted country lanes in what I call the Steppingley-Eversholt Triangle. There were rabbits everywhere, scampering across the road in front of the car and leaping head first into the hedges. I was looking out for deer, though, and my first sighting didn't disappoint - a Roe Deer in the field between Flitwick Wood & Steppingley. Roe Deer have only started to colonize Bedfordshire in recent years and remain relatively scarce, so this was a great record. When I slowed down it bounded off into the distance.

Over the next hour I had the following sightings:
Kingshoe Wood verge - Muntjac.
Eversholt Village - Chinese Water Deer.
Eversholt Village - Male and female Muntjac browsing together.
Woburn Abbey wall - Muntjac.
Eversholt Lake entrance - Muntjac.
Milton Bryan East - Muntjac.
Milton Bryan West - Muntjac.
Road parallel to M1 - Chinese Water Deer (very comfortable in the car headlights).
Back road to Steppingley - Chinese Water Deer.

That's 7 Muntjac, 3 Chinese Water Deer & 1 Roe Deer during a relatively brief drive in a limited area. I wonder how many there are in total?

There were also a number of moths flying around (almost certainly Winter & November Moths), and 2 Barn Owls at Berry End. I wish I had a pair of military spec night vision binoculars...I wonder how much I would see then!


  1. Driving around at that time looking for mammals, now that`s dedication Steve. Love it.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Dean!

    It's worth the effort because you see so much more that you wouldn't see at other times. Over the past few months I've had 4 species of deer, plus rabbit, brown hare, hedgehog, mouse sp., shrew sp., polecat, red fox, and badger. It's also great for owls!! :-)

  3. hi, what a great site. You are very dedicated, i live in steppingley and recently have been getting deers in my back garden. I now know that they are chinese water deers. thanks for the insight.

  4. Hi Dan,

    There was a dead Chinese Water Deer in the verge between Steppingley and the motorway earlier today (24th February). A few weeks ago there were 2 Chinese Water Deer in the field opposite the Flitwick Leisure Centre all afternoon whilst dog walkers walked past on the footpath across the fields. I think more of these deer will be seen in gardens in your area as they are disturbed by the work in Millbrook Plantation where large numbers can be found during the day!

    Best wishes,