Thursday, March 15, 2007

Red Deer

Remember those Red Deer I photographed a couple of weeks back? Kevin O'Hara from Northumberland Wildlife Trust comments as follows -

"Hi Stewart, thanks for the photo. As far as I am aware this is the first confirmed record of this particular batch of red deer in the county. Their origin is slightly contentious. They are allegedly releases deliberate or other from the duke of Northumberlands Hulne park estate in Alnwick. As far as I am aware these are the only other red deer at large in the county at present. What their impact will be and whether they survive is another matter but we will have to wait and see if they proliferate. They are indeed an indigenous spp. to the north east but have been absent for many years due to hunting and sheep farming. Without any natural predators they can have very damaging effects on young trees and heather moorland as in parts of Scotland where their numbers are at unsustainable levels. I think we are a long way from that but if they were released on purpose it may prove to be a very irresponsible act given the already low level of tree cover in this county and the poor state of the uplands. Nice photo though did you notice if they were all the same sex. I suspect they may be as hinds and stags tend to stay apart, but there may be some male youngsters in amongst them."

Kevin then comments - "Ignore the last sentence a closer look at the photo reveals some antlers in the right hand corner. So there we have it a possible breeding population. Listen out for roaring stags this September."

Very interesting. I'll be looking for them next time I'm over that way...

3 comments:

st said...

can you give a rough, grid ref. I fancy a look.

Boulmer Birder said...

Hi S,
On the OS Map for Alnwick NU1217. Park at East Bolton and take the marked public path to Kimmer Lough. As soon as you hit moorland look left at some tiny birch copses in the heather. The deer were near Hunterheugh Crags.

st said...

ta