People keep telling me that we have a deer problem in Scotland. But I tell you what the problem is… it’s that I can’t find any deer!
This morning was the start of my deer quest. My quest to find the perfect spot to film deer for our Wildlife Filming and Editing Worshops later this year.
This spot ideally will be a forest glade where the morning sun filters through the canopy leaves giving just enough light to form an ethereal backdrop for the deer to come and drink, feed, play, groom, mate and all the things that deer do. Surely such a spot exists in the forests surrounding Peebles?
My early morning excursion didn’t quite match this.
We are most likely to see deer first thing in the morning or at dusk. But I am starting to realise that my idea of first thing in the morning and a deers definition of first thing in the morning may differ considerably. For a start I have some doubts that the roe deer of Tweed Valley spent Thursday evening eating curry and drinking a couple of glasses of rose. I also doubt they got sidetracked by an interesting story about Cheryl Cole in a magazine and went to bed quite late. And if they did remember to set their alarms for 5.30am they probably didn’t press snooze every ten minutes for an hour. You get the idea with where I am going with this.
By the time I reached Cadmuir forest at 7.15am I think that the good deer had already been up, had their breakfast, brushed their teeth and straightened their ties ready for a days work and were long out the door! Either that or the persistent drizzle caused them to have an extra long lie this morning and in fact I was the only sole to be found at that time enduring a slow painful soak as I trudged through the undergrowth.
So where did I go wrong? To start with I think that 7.15 am is not considered early in the world of the mammal (unless you are a sloth, but given that they are nocturnal they possibly are awake as the first rays of morning sun beam through). Secondly, Cadmuir forest is our smallest Forestry Commission forest in the Tweed Valley. Next time I think I need to choose a larger forest more likely to house more deer, and perhaps an early night with some Ovaltine Light in order to wake with a 5am alarm might serve me better.
There may have been no deer, but I was not completely alone in my later-than-hoped morning wanderings. I am sure every wren in the forest was cursing me every step of my walk.
Nothing you do is ever good enough for a wren. They “tsssk” at you disapprovingly with every move you make. I always wondered if it was just me. Maybe they didn’t like the way I walked, or wore my hair, or zipped up my coat, or carried my rucksack. I have never heard a postive or encouraging tweet out of a wrens mouth! Should I take offence? I bet the wrens had seen a deer. I couldn’t help but think I deserved their abuse this morning.
If you happen to know of some good spots to find deer then please do let me know! Determined to find success I will be choosing a different forest to continue my mission next week. But some hints and tips on good spots would be very much appreciated!
I would also like to hear if you have had any trouble with wrens undermining you and knocking your confidence. In the meantime I will try and see if there are any support groups out there to lend a hand with these hurt feelings I am experiencing.
Hope to see you all at Kailzie soon with various interpretations of what “early morning” means!
Rachel (KLAWED Project Officer)