The Red Deer on Mull seem to be missing the worst of the wintery weather that is affecting most of England, however here at High Oatfield Bed & Breakfast it is very chilly outside and there is snow on the hill tops but it is yet to get down to our level.
The Red Deer Stags are also staying at the lower levels to avoid the snow and who can blame them? They have lost a bit of condition after the rutting season so a mild winter will suit them much better than a very cold snowy one.
Red Deer on Mull outnumber people by about three to one, so seeing them whilst on holiday shouldn’t be difficult, although they can be remarkable hard to spot if they find the right cover. If our collie hadn’t marked one the other morning we would have walked within 3 metres of it and not have seen it.
There are three young hinds in the wood just up the road from the house, they are very timid and take off very quickly when they see us and the dogs walking, unlike the Stags who will just stand and watch us from a very short distance away.
Our pair of ‘nearly’ resident High Oatfield Sea Eagles have been seen on the rocky outcrop to the left of the house and last week we had the pleasure of watching four Eagles in the field, there was a degree of territory defending going on and it was wonderful to watch. It will soon be mating season for them so hopefully we will see some of it and then report to the RSPB so they can note it in their records.They have benefited from a Red Deer cull by the local landowner and have been scavenging the entrails left after the Deer have been cleaned. We even had a visit from a Golden Eagle to see if there were any pickings left.
We rarely see young calves as the mothers hide them very well if they have to leave them but occasionally we will catch a glimpse of a group of Deer with young amongst them.
In a few months we will be able to find antlers on our dog walks, quite often next to fence lines where the Red Deer have jumped over and lost an antler in preparation for growing their new set for the coming year. Its about this time that the Red Deer start to head for the hill as the midges begin to irritate the new antlers still in velvet and they head high to avoid the worst of the the midges attention.