On 18th October a friend asked me if I would like to visit Arne early in the morning, she was hoping to see the Sika deer as they are in rut at this time of year. Of course I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity. We weren’t sure if we could get in the car park as the times were published at 9.30am opening, I tried to find out but didn’t get an answer until after the trip. We decided to go anyway as we could divert to Middlebere Heath if we couldn’t get into Arne.
We were able to get in the car park so we walked round the reserve, it was very dull with just a hint of orange in the sky at sunrise which was disappointing and the light was poor.
As soon as we got there and made our way up the slope we could hear the Stags declaring their territory, a very unnerving sound if you didn’t know what it was! We could hear Stags throughout the reserve, on their own patch I assume. We were lucky to see one in the field and he was with what I think was a first year male, they seemed happy in each others company. We did have an odd glimpse of other stags but they were well hidden in the undergrowth. We weren’t lucky enough to see an territorial action but pleased to see the Stags.
Over towards the Shipstal hide we spotted a small group of Hinds they were very nervous but we did manage to get fairly close without disturbing them. I think the deer numbers have been reduced as there certainly isn’t so many around as there used to be.
The birds weren’t too active staying low in the bushes and gorse, we saw a group of female pheasants and they weren’t too frightened of us, of course the usual Robin and Grey Squirrels everywhere gathering nuts.