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Sika Sightings in the New Forest

by Steve Lobley

Here in the New Forest, (Hampshire, England) sightings of deer are not uncommon and in fact there are one or 2 observation areas where you can get quite close. Wild sightings though are typically of 1 to 3 animals and never over close.

Sika Deer - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Lobley

Recently it was frosty and we headed off into the forest to take some scenic shots. As the ground was hard we took the opportunity to get well off the beaten track by using first a bridleway and then a fire break line. To our surprise we were suddenly faced with a young buck and doe, Having been allowed to watch them for some time they wandered off.

Sika Deer - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Lobley

Moving up the path we were suddenly aware of noise in the undergrowth, to our amazement we had stumbled (and had surprisingly been allowed to by these timid creatures) into a herd of 40 to 50 Sika deer.

Female Sika Deer - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Lobley

Over the next hour we were enthralled by their presence, but noted that a large number never took their eyes off of us. Do deer, people watch I wonder? Several warning calls were heard as either we took one step too close, or an inquisitive doe (or juvenile) came too near.

This is an experience not to be forgotten and has left us on quite a high.


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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved