I’m going to put this out there at the start; I’m a big fan of Roe Deer! They might not be the most glamorous of species, not too exciting certainly, but I see them as iconic in many ways. In Estonia, where our wildlife-watching hide and nature reserve is located, seeing a group of Roe Deer emerging from the thick woodland to forage on open fields is something that I’ll never tire of. Whilst such an image can be seen throughout many parts of Britain, certainly in my home county of Norfolk, it never captures that same enchantment as it does in Estonia. I’ve been trying to put my finger on quite why this is, and I think it relates to their position as the key prey species for Eurasian Lynx in this part of the world. As I watch these ungulates stride across the fallow land I know they could well be being watched by a Eurasian Lynx, nestled amongst that group of rocks, or biding its time within that clump of trees. That thought is so enticing to me. Of course, in Britain, we have no Eurasian Lynx, or Grey Wolf or any other predators (aside us) so that feeling is, unfortunately, absent.
The video linked below is a compilation from one of our nature reserves trail cameras between February and November 2016 and shows many aspects of a Roe Deer’s life from winter to winter, from the birth of their twins to the rut. The camera is placed in amongst thick hazels and the nervousness of the deer is obvious, certainly at times they appear more stressed than when they are out in the open when the chance of being pounced upon by a lynx is reduced.