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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

10 February, 2014

Roe deer, oh dear, oh dear

One gets so used to seeing sika deer in the Purbeck area of Dorset that it takes a little while to convince yourself that you are seeing something different. Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) are far less common here than the sika, in fact their numbers are very low and they seem to prefer the open woodlands at the foot of the Purbeck Ridge on the northern side. I do not know whether the numbers of
sika have any bearing on the roe population or whether they have always been few and far between due to restricted suitable feeding habitat.
Roe deer are, in general, smaller than sika and a lighter shade of brown with a different, and perhaps less prominent, white rear patch.  They have a much more rounded muzzle than the more pointed face of the sika. 
One thing is certain however, they are stealthy animals that usually slip away quietly as soon as they hear or smell humans approaching. This Roebuck, though, seemed unperturbed by our presence although he did keep an eye on us as I stalked him to get a shot. He must have known it was just a camera I had and not a gun! Venison is popular on the pub menus down here ...
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