Monday, 26 September 2011

Monday 26th. September 2011

This morning , I arrived on the Downs with the license holder , to check the 50 small mammal traps . I asked how many were trapped yesterday , getting an answer of 2 Wood Mice , 1 Short-tailed Vole and one  Common Shrew . But , with the traps having been in situ longer , better results were expected today . I have to admit that the number trapped was up , but 6 Wood Mice was as good as it got . I could have done with a few Vole or Shrew shots , especially close up , but it wasn't to be .As it was so close , and  the drizzle was giving way to a few bright spells , I made another visit to Knoll Park to see how the Fallow Deer rut was progressing . Passing around the high ground on the way to the car park , not a deer in sight , and positively no rutting taking place . I walked to the top of the high ground and headed down the other side , with the intention of looking for the Devil's Fingers fungi again . On my way , I came across the animal that I mentioned after the last visit that could be a
contender , spreading his scent amongst the bracken . Although he knew I was close by , he took practically no notice of me , and after letting every other male know that this was his territory , he
sauntered off to the gym . The gym being , a large branch that had fallen from a nearby Beech , and obviously , this was how he built up the neck muscles , as he lifted it clear of the ground on several occasions . He was giving the equipment another good work out , so I left him and went looking for fungi . Again I failed to find any Devils Fingers , and with warm weather being forcasted for the rest of the week , it could well be some time before they appear . In the area , I did find the odd specimen
of the Wax Cap , Hygrocybe coccinea / Scarlet Hood , but no sign of the target species . Making my way back towards the high ground , I met up with the contender again , and it looked as if his work
out had been a bit too strenuous , as he was taking a rest in the shade at the foot of a large Beech . As I got back to the top of the high ground , I heard my first bellow of this year's rut . Whilst I had been away two stags had taken up station , one amongst the trees , the most coverted place , and the other
had settled into one of the many pits surrounding the trees . Neither seemed to know what they were doing there , and even less when the odd doe came to see what all the noise was about . A third stag
moved into one of the lower pits , and although noisy , he didn't seem to know what to do either . I'm sure the contender will sort these two out , once he makes his appearance . The only action seen was
between two very young stags , with a gentle clink as they touched antlers , compared to the crash of the older animals . It will be some time before either will be a contender , perhaps a pretender .
I did make a short stop at Sevenoaks Reserve on my way home , but things were really quiet .
A female Teal was paddling around outside Willow Hide ,
several male Migrant Hawkers were enjoying the sun , in between territorial battles ,
and the only Kingfisher seen was taking a nap , as far from the hide as it possibly could .


Phil said...

Sounds like the Deer are in a rut instead of on a rut Greenie. I'll give it a look towards the end of the week if I can. At least you got some good pics!

Alan Pavey said...

The Contender looks like he's biding his time, I'm looking forward to hearing how he fares.

Warren Baker said...

That photo of the Deer under the shady beech is a classic Greenie, keep hold of that one :-)