When out for my morning dog walk, I’m always stopping to look at trees, plants, wildlife or something. Depending on what we find Gertie (the dog!) finds this a joy or a chore! Yesterday morning we were both rewarded with five or ten minutes in the company of one of our most private and elusive woodland dwellers, a roe buck.
I’ve been checking out some woodland for deer sign for a little while and had an idea where I was likely to find them. On the off chance we popped over and while sitting quietly under a big old beech tree Gertie started vibrating with excitement! This is a sure sign that something’s about – her keen sense of smell recognises a deer long before I see it. Then I saw some movement. A lone roe buck. Often a solitary deer, roe are true woodland dwellers unlike most other deer species in the UK. They browse on herbage and new tree growth.
Because roe deer are so well camouflaged and often prefer to stay inside woodland they can be very difficult to photograph. These photos were taken with small compact camera – nothing fancy. One pitfall of this sort of camera is many pictures like this one will be focused on the trees between you and the subject but still a nice snapshot to remember the experience.
If you’ve ever watched deer you’ll know how carefully they move. Every step is measured. He was no exception, carefully sniffing the scent in the air and stopping to cock an ear. He knew we were slightly unusual but he wasn’t alarmed. The wind was in our favour today. After an attempt to catch a better scent by circling us slightly he gave up and wandered silently off into a thicket.
With a dog straining on the lead I wouldn’t even attempt to follow him so we said farewell and moved on.