From about 7:00 AM until 12:30 PM today the rain was solid and frequently heavy. We hid in Guillaume until it abated, then headed to our favourite local pub, the Hare and Hounds in Sway, for another lunch. This is becoming a habit.
While we’re hiding in Guillaume, Guillaume makes a very reasonable wildlife hide. Forget camouflage colouring – why on earth do people waste money on those ridiculous camouflage jackets for telephoto lenses? – the only design improvement Guillaume really needs to make him an admirable wildlife hide is a set of optically perfect windows instead of the plastic double-glazed affairs typical of caravans. Of course, in a half-way decent climate, one could probably sit with the window open and have nothing between lens and subject. We’ve had quite a collection of bird life but we’ve also been visited by several other forest dwellers, too. We did what we could to record them albeit through our plastic windows.
The New Forest has, I believe, four species of deer: Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Sika Deer and Roe Deer. Guillaume’ has been visited by two of these. First, a group, which e think was a bachelor group, of Fallow Deer, with their longer tails sporting a black dorsal stripe, have been wandering by, usually in the early evenings.
Secondly, Guillaume has had slightly less frequent visits by the smaller Roe Deer with a pale patch on their backsides. This one is a buck and appears to be in some sort of moulting condition, looking at his neck and body. Presumably a female is a Roe doe (or maybe a Roe-de-oh-doe, if you can figure the music out for yourselves).
As well as the ground feeding birds, such as Chaffinches, cleaning up the crumbs dropped from our bird feeder, we’ve been watching an endearing little rodent helping them clean up. We think this little character is a Bank Vole. |To supplement its diet, we chopped up some apple finely and scattered that. Watching the little character snatch pieces of apple and scurry away with them was most entertaining.
One late afternoon, a Fox in superb condition wandered through the campsite quite close to Guillaume but I was far too captivated just watching to grab a photo. Actually, it was clearly visible only for a few seconds, anyway, but it felt longer. The rabbits it scared witless were visible for only a split second as they scattered in panic.
Finally, whilst not exactly being wildlife, even though tourists are requested not try to get friendly with them (and guess how many obey), the New Forest ponies were beginning to start dropping their new foals. One mare and her new born foal had wandered into the campsite and she was calmly grazing right beside our water taps as her foal sat and began to develop droopy eyelids. The new mother seemed completely unfazed and content to have humans around.
Those darn grockels. 🙂