The deer and their new open gate
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Wildlife Observation Camera
The emphasis for April turned to the area that the Roe Deer feel comfortable entering the property.
After I’d cleared some old tangled barbed wire I could also roll back a 2m section of the standard wire fencing to see if it made it easier for the deer. It took a couple of days for them (and the foxes) to return to the area because I had to disturb the ground and undergrowth so much to sort the fencing, but we can clearly see both species cautiously testing the area, taking scent and generally checking everything very carefully.
Clear Way for the Deer
I feel sure that one of the male deer marked the fence post with scent using glands under his eye, and after that everyone was much easier about the clear route. Males and female deer would then usually check the scented post each time they passed. Very nice to see that level of scent communication going on.
The other conclusion for the month is that there’s definitely another entry point onto the property that’s not viewed on this footage because the individuals are not necessarily seen for both entry and exit in each period. However, we can see from the timings that this is now a preferred route to leave the property roughly between 06:00 - 08:00 and 19:00 - 23:00 (possibly to drink at the river after grazing). There’s also many instances of entry and exit outside those times, but that’s a sort of pattern that can be seen in April. There was also a lot more activity at the cleared spot once the section of fencing was removed.
The deer much prefer to stay in or close by secluded woodland (like at our river bank areas) during the day, and venture out further during the night to especially look for new grass that appears after rainfall. With the grass areas I'm cutting back in the Spring and Summer, there is most definitely plenty of that, and plenty of activity where it can clearly be seen they're following worn (and trusted) routes to new grass areas such as the grass area I cut under the large cedar tree close to the river and the old driveway areas.
As the mornings and evenings get lighter there's more daylight video (between 19:00 to 08:00). This makes identifying the individual deer much easier. In April, there's definitely 3 males and either 4 or 5 females all using the same point. The sightings also clearly show a third younger male with single point antlers I haven’t seen before (very cute!). He was seen using the same path to enter and exit the property.
The other incredible thing I'm noticing this month is the great level of volume the camera captures of the birds singing in the surrounding trees at dawn and dusk. What an orchestra!
And lastly, the other highlight for me is the last clip of a beautiful fox standing in the rain with wet fur. So cautiously checking out the camera. He/She is looking so confident and healthy.