Monday, 5 March 2018

Another big surprise

After the excitement of seeing the deer so close in the garden on Saturday I was determined to get some more pictures last night.  I knew it was the last chance as the snow has been melting and once it is gone I won't be able to see the deer in the dark.  I was all ready at 6pm with the door open, scrim netting in place, and the camera on a tripod.  It was foggy with poorer light than the night before but I sat and watched the gate, waiting for the deer to come in.  Suddenly there was a doe right in front of me, and it hadn't come in through the gate.  It could only have come from the woodland part of the garden.

It stood for a few moments, staring across the garden toward the golf course and then turned and trotted back into the wood.  There I could see two others, neither being the mature buck.

They all stood staring out in the same direction before the doe set off slowly towards the gate and then walked through and down the lane.

Moments later the other two followed her and I could see one was a young doe and the other a young buck, presumably the two I had seen the night before.

If you are a roe deer the only way in and out of the garden is through the gate.  I had been watching the gate for half an hour before the deer appeared so they must have been in the garden all day, resting / sleeping / hiding in the top end of the garden amongst the trees (there is about 0.4 acre of woodland).

I sat for another half an hour but no other deer appeared.  The day before the older buck had definitely come in through the gate while I was watching but the young buck and young doe were already there when I opened the door so, in retrospect, they may well have come from the garden.  They may have been in there for a few days as I haven't been up that end of the garden for a while and while the snow was here I left the gate open all the time.

Confirmation that I have lodgers came this morning.  When I looked out before 7 am there were two deer (the doe and the young female) munching the ivy.  As I watched they ambled up to the top of the garden to hide for the day.  Here are a couple of terrible photos taken in the gloom through a rain-streaked window.  (I take a lot of terrible photos but I don't usually post them here.)

I think this family group must consist of the mature buck and doe, a young doe and young buck (even though I haven't seen the last of these until these past two nights).  The plan now is what to do with them.  I hope they will all leave this evening so I can close the gate and get back to normal.

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