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A family of roe deer, and some new bones


Today me and my dad went on a walk to a wood near Gleneagles, just a few miles from my house. We'd been there before twice, and knew there were roe deer there. We crept into the wood quietly and went round the edges of a clearing. As we went down a dry stream bed, we saw a roe deer watching us. We stopped and hid and saw that there were were three roe deer, a buck, a doe and a fawn.

The buck is in the picture above. He looked quite old and strong and he had his new antlers in velvet.

I think the other two were a mummy and a fawn, because last years fawns stay with their mummy until about March. I think this next picture is the fawn mummy.

I think this next picture is the mummy the fawn, a young buck. (I didn't see the bumps on his head until we got home and looked at the pictures).

We lay in the old stream bed for about an hour watching the roes. We were quite close to them, and watched them eating. We were lucky because the sun was behind us, and because we had moved so the wind was in our faces so they couldn't smell us. The roe buck sat down for long while, chewing something.

After a while, they got scared by something, and they moved through the trees away from us into the next clearing. Overhead, there was a buzzard circling.

The woods were full of roe deer tracks and roe poo. On the track along one side of the wood, we found these roe hoofprints that I found. All four feet are together, so the roe must have been running.

We had gone to explore a new part of the wood we had never been in before. It was a clearing we saw on Google Maps. When we got there, we found some new bones.

Here's me collecting the bones with the trowel that I keep in my rucksack. We found a roe deer's hips, three bones from the back right leg, 20 vertabrae, and some broken ribs. But although we looked all around the clearing, we couldn't find any of the other bones. Sometimes you get leg bones missing, but it's strange not to find the skull, the shoulder blades or more of the ribs. (UPDATE: we've called this skeleton Charlie because we don't know whether it's a male or a female. I think it was an old female roe - read why here.)

This was a really good walk. It was the longest time I had watched deer for, and although it was cold, and there was still some snow in the woods, I had all my winter walking clothes on. I think we will definitely do more exploring in that wood.

I have put the bones in the peroxide tank and will write about them later.

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