Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chinese Water Deer

One of the positive things about spending a few days back in Bedfordshire is the opportunity to catch up with the various deer species, all of which are lacking on the Isle of Wight (though there are rumours.......!!!).

I caught up with this Chinese Water Deer in a field near Stewartby. It was a very close and gentle encounter. I wondered whether she might have a young one close by but couldn't see anything.

 There were a number of Chinese Water Deer tracks nearby.

On this photograph you can see how the right hind foot has been placed into the slot of the right fore foot.

And the mud is so soft here that the print is splayed and you can clearly make out the marks of the two hind dewclaws.

And piles of droppings are a giveaway!

A bit further on, this surprised Bank Vole was present under a refuge.


  1. Nice captures! I wonder if there are wild deer on the Island?

  2. Hi Omi,
    Slots have been seen - maybe an escape from a deer farm; I have also heard talk of a Muntjac being spotted, but that sounds very unlikely. Then there is the tale of the famous Fallow Deer that turned up on the island a few years back and was seen by a number of people over a period of time - the rumour is that it swam across the Solent in a desperate bid to escape from being hunted or chased or something!
    Best wishes,

  3. An escapee from Woburn do you think? I know that the Muntjacs have spread far and wide from there. You were lucky to spot the Vole!

  4. Hi Toffeeapple - They originally come from Woburn and are now an important population in world terms! The amazing thing is the way in which they stand out in the middle of fields in the Woburn area. I once stood at a gateway early in the year and counted 40 as I scanned the nearby fields! In most of the places they've spread to they are doing the more normal thing of staying out of sight!!

  5. I shall keep a look out for them the next time I'm in the area.

  6. One of the Isle of Wight's best kept secrets is that we have a small number of Red Deer living and breeding in the wild. They are very shy and secretive and far more difficult to spot than any farmed deer. The browsing and grazing of these deer can enhance biodiversity by creating a mosaic of grassy and shrubby understorey favourable to some of the other rare mammals that we have here including Red Squirrels, Hazel Dormice and Bechstein's Bat,