Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Large Mammals

Alpha male - apparently nodding off Antlers top heavy? (c) 2009 Mike Williamson
Youngish stags
ditto (c) 2009 Mike Williamson
Beta males fighting
Car park Robin (c) 2009 Mike Williamson
The bird easiest to see today!

Richard Hampshire, the warden at Tophill Low, kindly gave up his morning off to show the Tues am group around his old ‘manor.’ The birds were a little thin on the ground apart from flighty Jays which were very plentiful. In the morning more than one Nuthatch was heard, but these were silent in the afternoon. At least 2 different Buzzards were seen, as well as a male Kestrel in the afternoon. In the morning a flock of c.6 Bullfinches were seen along the south-east corner of the fenced-off area. In contrast to the relative paucity of bird sightings, the views of large mammals were much better than average. The fallow deer were rather quiet, but there were some beautiful dappled examples, a white female & some very attractive fawns. The Red Deer were a different matter. The alpha male was only occasionally noisy; whilst his harem of c30 hinds were relatively docile. 2 younger males had a little scuffle in the morning until the chief male sent them all packing. We had closer views of the stag in the afternoon, but fighting amongst the others was non-existent. The trees and gardens were beautiful, and their fruit plentiful: acorns, beech-mast, guelder rose berries & sweet chestnuts.

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