and deer safari
Parks and estates are great places to see how humans
and wildlife once lived, and continue to coexist, alongside each other.
some top tips from the Nature's Calendar team to make the most of your wildlife
rears - compare the markings on the deers' bottoms|
spotting at Fountains
Country estates are amongst the best places
to go deer watching, and here are some top tips on making the most of your trip:
Follow tell tale signs including animal tracks, and evidence of deer in wooded
* Deer tracks are easily recognised
by their prints - look for the shape of their tracks in the mud.
Look up at the browse line on trees where the deer have munched to a certain height.
* The height of the browse line will tell
you which species is doing the eating - look for the nibbling of bark and rubbing
of trees with antlers.
* Identifying the various species of deer is relatively
straightforward. One of the biggest clues lurks in the deer's heads and their
* The Red Deer are bigger and have
a ginger rear.
* Fallows have white bums with a black stripe, and the
Sika are more of a white powder puff.
different species of deer also have different antlers.
These three species
are a similar size, and from a distance this can be confusing - so one tip is
to count their antlers.
Reds have 16 tips, Sika have eight, while Fallow
have flattened antlers like Elk.
Winter is a great time to see the deer
- the excitement of the rut is over so the deer are calmer, moving around in distinct
Watch out for harems of Red Deer - the dominant male is easy to
spot due to his size and antlers.
The non breeding males tend to hang about
in groups together.
Visitors can get close to these fantastic animals
because there are regular deer walks throughout the winter with expert rangers.
Barn Owl is relatively easy to spot - it hunts by day in the cold winter.
Short Eared Owl is also easy to find - it hunts first thing in the morning and
at the back end of the day.
Look for its brown plumage with brown and
white streaks and spots.
The Long Eared Owl is harder to find - it is nocturnal
but can sometimes be found in hedges sleeping in ivy.
It has a dark brown
upper body but lighter underparts, and is characterised by its distinctive ear
The Tawny Owl makes a 'tu-whit-tu-woo' sound which is easily identified.
It has chestnut brown plumage with streaked underparts.
the Tawny male's hooting call. These owls are at their noisiest in late winter
and early spring.
The Little Owl is often active in daylight hours. This
is our smallest owl with a squat appearance and large white spots.
watching at Holkham
for the different sounds of the geese at Holkham estate.
White Fronted Geese
are characterised by a high, laughing sound like a pack of dogs.
Geese make a deep nasal sound with high pitched, quick notes.
The best time
to see the birds is first thing in the morning and at dusk when the Pink Footed
Geese and return to their roosts.
The sight of 70,000 geese dropping out
of the sky is an extraordinary spectacle.