Schools and Kids
Monday, June 20th 2016
The dull day was brightened by the arrival of Le Cateau Primary Year 3, and the slight shower did little to crush their excitement of being at the reserve. Again the reserve team offered various activities to the children such as poetry/habitat walk, minibeast and pond-dipping.
When the school had gone we were able to continue with the jobs of the day, in this case various office jobs and the last Great Tit nest box to be checked and the chicks ringed. Although the chick below looks rather sad this is actually the way they always look, and is one way of distinguishing the bird from something like a Blue Tit nestling. The nesting birds have had a fairly poor season with a lot of the bird nests failing due to the wet, cold, and lack of insects which would have fed the young.
Elizabeth attended the site to give an evening walk, and during her pre-walk amble spotted this doe Roe Deer with her young.
Roe Deer young are not called fawns but kids. The rut, or breeding season, occurs between mid-July to mid-August. Fights between bucks, the male Roe, can result in serious injury or death with the winner taking over the loser’s territory or attendant doe. Courtship involves chasing between the buck and doe for some time until the doe is ready to mate.
With the courtship over and the mating completed the fertilised egg is delayed from implanting on the womb lining until January. So although the gestation is 9 months the actual pregnancy is only 5 months of actual embryonic growth.
The kid in the photo was probably born in May as it only keeps the spotted coat for six weeks. There are usually 2 or 3 kids born, but these deer have a high mortality with only one that actually survives beyond the first week of life, and if two survive the weaker may be lost during their first winter.
Jade, our conservation degree work placement student, leaves us today; on behalf of all at Foxglove Covert LNR I thank her for the hard work she has carried out for us, and we hope to see her again in the not too distant future.
There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below: