Thursday, 4 November 2010

Another deer counting request

Halloween marks the end of my agricultural year and apart from a few chores to be done in the winter it,s a break from this lark for me till early spring.The week till bonfire night is a time to have a few drinks with people i,ve worked with and collect any money owed and bonfire night will be celebrated at Lewes,the capital of bonfires.How the jungle drums have been beating for a chat today over a glass of whisky on the kitchen table and the best lamb sandwich i,ve had all year another request to do a deer count with the trailcam has been made.Apparently the usually large numbers of roe have dwindled rapidly with a distinct lack of teenage fawns and some pretty strange goings on at night have been witnessed particularly some chickens have gone missing and this is while they were enclosed by a 7ft fence laced with electric wire,few feathers have been found and no carcases just a brief bit of squawking has been heard and that,s it.The location?Well this has to remain secret but it,s in the Horsham cats home range.I was asked to look round the place to see what i could find and while the Glasgow whisky coursed at top speed through my veins,i certainly didn,t find any chicken carcases but what did catch my rapidly blurring eyes was what appeared to be part of a young fox skeleton maybe lying there for 2 weeks or more along with some large scat with fur in it (pictured)What else did i notice?Well there were a lot of pigeon feathers about and their moult around august time,i think,is well gone,they are on the woodland floor a lot at the moment scoffing acorns,the beech mast is mostly gone,they are being caught by something it looks like to me .I,m not saying a bigcat has and i,m not saying a fox hasn,t but something has and they might not be as easy to catch as in the summer but a pigeon on the ground is worth hundreds in the bushes as any predator will tell you.I did also find some deer slots,not many but a few,both roe and fallow but no young roe slots that i could see.So ,anyway, reason enough to strap the cam to a tree and see what sort of deer numbers are here without me having to hang around on cold mornings like i used to(i love trailcams!)Unfortunately this is primarily a deer counting exercise therefore any other wildlife pictures will be an added bonus although the cam is mounted high up so the view will be downward looking which won,t make for appealing looking pictures.As my friend there has no interest in the bigcat subject"your,e wasting your time"he laughed"they don,t exist,just big ferals and mistaken identitys,show me some photos that you have taken that are clearly bigcats and i,ll believe you".Well i,ve no wish to tell anyone what is or isn,t on their ground without that sort of glorious proof and i,ve no desire to convince any other sceptics for that matter,everone is entitled to their own opinions,all i will say is that i wouldn,t waste 1 second of my time doing this if i hadn,t seen them for myself and know for certain that they do exist and are about,affecting the other wildlife for people like me to discover the effects......

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