Monday, 25 October 2010

Fallow Deer Rut

Just a quick update... the 2 fallow bucks, William and Norman, have locked antlers a couple of times over the weekend. They are still happy lying up close to each other so the full fallow rut has not started yet, but I am sure it will very soon and it promised to be pretty good this year with both bucks evenly matched.

Hopefully I will be able to provide you with pictures as and when it really gets going.

As for the Reds, they are slowing down now. It seems Eric has complete control and dominance of the herd and Alfie is happy on the outskirts. I am sure it will not be long until Eric has done his job and Alfie is slowly allowed to mix back in with the group.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Red Deer Rut

Early yesterday morning Alife decided to challenge Eric for control of the herd. They were heard clashing antlers during the night before, but only lasted till around half nine in the morning. Both of them seemed very weary and tired, unsurprisingly, and although a little bloody Eric came out on top. Alfie spent the rest of the weekend sulking away from the main group.

Alfie is a big stag now, and in size more than a match for Eric, but maybe confidence, skill, antlers are lacking a bit. All that will come with time. Maybe he will have another little go this year but if not I am sure he will really challenge for master stag next Autumn.

Below is a video of some of the action.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

New Red Squirrel satellite site

Today I loaned out a pair of our Red Squirrels to a new site. It is their first time with red squirrels and adds to our breeding group. Hopefully they will fair well there and breed next year, helping us with our breeding program.

Having bred over 40 healthy kittens this year we stocked up our walk-through enclosure, set up a couple of new trios for breeding here and then sourced out a few to our breeding groups.

By having breeding groups it means that hopefully our captive population won't have a crash. The idea is we loan the squirrels out to several places being able to call them back if we need to, and collecting any offspring they produce. We can then try and keep all the breeding group sites healthy with breeding red squirrels and help them all out if any of them or ourselves has a crash in numbers.

Sadly Mrs Milo passed away due to old age a few weeks ago. Also, as some of you know, Tyto one of our reared owls died unexpectedly too leaving his brother Alba on his own.

With a healthy breeding pair of barn owls on display in our aviaries we thought there was no need to be breeding more in our "Barn". And what with Milo getting on a little now too we thought we would just let him retire. We cut off his boots (anklets) and will no longer be used for display work, although can still be seen in his enclosure in "The Barn".

To give him a little company in his old age we paired up Alba with him to form a little bachelor pad.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Deer Rutting

The Red Deer rut is in full flow. Eric has been strutting his stuff and bellowing out most of the day and night recently. Poor old Alfie has been pushed out and is sulking a little, but then he has been disappointing this year and hasn't really made much of an effort himself. Maybe he is biding his time till next year, or maybe he is just like his dad "Archie" and just a little too laid back :-)

Be sure to check out the rut at the BWC over the next couple of weeks if you have not already. Eric has even been chasing off the 2 fallow bucks, but they will be rutting soon themselves which promises to be fantastic this year with both looking fairly equal and the young buck already having a go at the master buck Norman.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Two upcoming events

Friday the 5th of November, 2010

This evening the BWC will host a talk given by wildlife presenter and photographer Chris Packham. 

After his popular talk 2 years ago, this is sure to book up fast so please get in early to avoid disappointment. To find out more details or to book a place call the main office on 01342 834658

Saturday the 22nd of January, 2011

This day will be our second annual Winter's Members Day... so make a note of it now in your diary!

After last years success we will be holding another Members Day during our "quiet season" Be sure to keep up to date on this blog nearer the time to find out more details on the day and scheduled events.