Over the last few weeks, around Naturetrek's offices, we have had a pair of Mallard Ducks as regular visitors. They are keeping close to the mill, trying to avoid a marauding group of bachelor male Drakes. The lone Drake has been desperately trying to block the advances of these rogue males but he has not been entirely successful. After days of stressful combat with the bachelor group, the pair are spening lots of time resting as close as they can get to the safety of the mill.
At times the lone Drake seemed to be completely exhausted at times but on this occasion he decided to try and fight off advances of another male. He was successful and both he and the female were left in peace for the rest of the afternoon.
Above, you can see the female hiding in the growing reeds. Her partner was not too far away and he was keeping a watchful eye on her. Perhaps this was a tactic to try and keep the bachelor away, by laying low. Below, this was one of the Bachelor group who was pushed off the female by the lone Drake. It seemed this individual was not prepared to fight for his conquest.
Last night as I left the office I went for a quick stroll along the main river channel, when I saw some movement in the long grass. I looked up to see a male Roe Deer bounding across the water meadow, leaping over grass tussocks and the smaller river channels. He eventually came to a stop to have a quick look at me, before making another leap across a river channel and heading off towards a small copse of woodland.
It was only when the deer stopped that I noticed he had a slightly odd pair of antlers. His left antler was growing in an unusual manner, it certainly wasn't growing symmetrically to the other. This is the second Roe Deer Buck I have seen with an odd antler in the last year, and at first I thought they might be the same individual, although it is very difficult to tell.