Saturday 15 September 2012

Roe deer

The doe is watching the dogs pass by
The deer in our local forest are roe deer, the most numerous of Britain’s native deer, and at this time of the year their coats have changed from the dark grey or brown of winter to a rich russet. It is quite usual for us to see one or two roe deer when we take the dogs walking, particularly towards evening. The deer are watchful but not easily startled, only taking flight if one of the dogs gets within twenty yards. Then they bound away and melt into the trees. 
Here she's watching Barry, trying to understand what he's doing
 We have often seen deer lying down in patches of sunlight. This gives them an opportunity to chew the cud. Usually they lie where they have been feeding only if they feel secure. One of the places we have seen them is about a hundred yards from the path we follow.
It's difficult to get buck and doe together in one frame!
In the last three weeks, since late August, we have regularly seen a young buck and doe. They are keeping company because this is the breeding season. The rut takes place from July to September. Does usually bear twins which are born the following spring, between April and June. In exceptionally good conditions a doe may have triplets. 
He looks as though he's saying, 'What are you looking at?'
Roe deer are the only deer that delay implantation so that the young are born when conditions are favourable, in that the weather is more clement and there is sufficient food and fresh plant growth. Others among the one hundred or so mammals that delay implantation (embryonic diapause) include stoats, badgers and rodents.
Spotting them is sometimes difficult . . . 
Can you see him now?
Here he is lying down 
Moving away unhurriedly
 I found a useful site that shows how to calculate the age of a buck by its antlers and I think ‘our’ buck is a two-year-old.

The antlers are shed each year and unusually for British deer, the roe buck casts and regrows them in the winter when good food is not readily available.

I am linking to Camera Critters.


  1. Good information about Roe deer there. I just learnt something new today. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. Great photos - so wonderful to have roe deer on your walks.

  3. So delicately beautiful.

  4. Your Roe deer are pretty! Great sighting and photos!

  5. Beautiful animals!

  6. I don't ever remember seeing a deer when we lived in England. I wonder if they are more prevalent now because they're protected, but maybe they just weren't around in the North.

  7. They're lovely, Janice, and I never fail to marvel at their ability to find perfect camouflage conditions.
    Lindy is out walking with Dick right now. He says she pretty much ignores all other animals these days, paying no attention to rabbits and gophers any more, or even cats or other dogs. The one exception is deer. She really wants to join them in their leaping romps across the prairie. However, she doesn't always notice them, unless they're moving.
    I enjoyed your roe deer photos very much.

  8. Great photos.
    We have lots of impala (antelopes) which are related to the deer, I think the main difference being that impala have horns and deer have antlers.

  9. your pictures and information are outstanding!

  10. We share our five acres of space with many deer and often one will lie down in the yard. Makes me happy.
    You got some wonderful shots especially of the proud buck!

  11. Beautiful captures.

    Visiting from Camera Critters. Crows is my entry this week. Hope you'd come and see.

  12. Excellent photos and like your showing how well the deer are hidden in the environment.

    Recall as a young person walking at night through a wooded area with an older person more familiar with wildlife than I. I noticed a very strong heavy odor which I was told indicated there likely was an area close by where a deer likely nested. We looked about the growth and did, indeed, find an area of flattened growth that I was told was where the deer bedded down. This was in the U.S.Midwest -- suppose a different type deer from yours, but maybe what I described is the same where you are, too.

  13. Lucky you to get this wonderful photos! This animals are so shy.

  14. Thank you very much for all this interesting information and the fabulous photos. By the way, I really love your header photo.

  15. That reminds me of my childhood when my grandpa took me into the woods at 5 am and we climbed on a deer stand to watch ! We also have deers even in Brussels, because we have so many parks and woods around. I once saw a deer sitting on the grass between bushes and watched the cars, when I drove to work !


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