We are not short of wildlife in our rural idyll of Tuttington. These images were captured by John on Christmas Day. The herd of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) was spotted on the east side of Norwich Road half way between the village and White Cross crossroads. They seem to consist almost entirely of stags – possibly juvenile stags – bearing fine sets of antlers. There might also be a couple of hinds in the herd. Other collective nouns are available: drove, gang or bevy.
Deer are much more frequently seen these days and most of us have mixed feelings when we see Muntjac deer nibbling plants in our gardens. The current UK population of all deer is thought to be about two million, more than at any time in the last 1000 years. One of the reasons for this is that culling programmes were put on hold during the Covid pandemic. Without culling, the deer population will increase rapidly. Red deer stags are truly majestic creatures but keeping proper control of them not only protects our countryside, but it ensures the deer population stays healthy.
Spring is around the corner
There are lots of early signs that Spring is on its way. Snowdrops down at Oxnead, Aconites and daffodils starting to sprout and hazel catkins like the one below spotted on the old railway line near to Common Lane.