Wednesday 11 October, 2017. Purpose of Trip: to watch the deer rutting.
Deer have a mating season which culminates in the rut, in October. The rut includes such behaviour as loud bellowing, clashing of antlers and pacing parallel to each other, to eye up the competition! (Deertails, 2017). They are, of course, competing for mating rights with the females. This is what we aimed to see.
We left Brackenhurst at around 13.30. Originally, it was intended to leave at 13.00, but it was found that the trip was rather popular, with more people attending than we thought we had room for, so a little bit of ‘sorting out’ was required!
We parked at the Grouse Inn (no, we didn’t go in, and anyway, it was closed!) and walked across the road, through the gate (shutting it after us!) and across the cow field.
Due to the rain, which was coming down in buckets, the going was very muddy, and slippery in places, so we had to pick our way up the hill, but we managed fine.
We managed to spot deer almost straight away, after we had reached the top.
A stag was spotted on the far horizon, and we heard some stags bellowing, then saw a couple of them running away, along a ridge, from another stag.
Due to the rain, our binoculars needed to be wiped on a regular basis, and so did our camera lenses, which unfortunately led to some hazy images. The views around us were beautiful even so.
When we got to the top, there was some interesting lichen on the stones. On the way, Max found a bird’s foot. So it wasn’t ALL about the deer, but mainly, it was.
The drive was a long one, but the trip was worth the effort, and one might say that the wind and rain were exhilarating! A definite recommendation for another day out.
Deertails. 2017. Looking Forward to the Spectacle of the Autumn Rut. [Online] Available at: http://whydidthedeercrosstheroad.langbeinwildlife.co.uk/ [Accessed 17 October 2017]
Mitchell, B., Staines, B., W., Welch, D., National Environment Research Council. 1977. Ecology nof Red Deer. [Online] Available at: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/5137/1/Ecology_Red_Deer_Scotland_.pdf
The National Trust. 2017. Walking Trail. [Online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/longshaw-burbage-and-the-eastern-moors/trails/eastern-moors-red-deer-and-edges-walk