Forest Way cottage owners have shared a blog with us from their recent stay and they visited Bainloch Deer Park and have taken some fantastic photos of the deer including the stag!
Ok chaps, let’s be honest, us men do some silly things – buying certain German sports cars, dubious facial hair and, of course, inappropriate wearing of lycra – all in the pursuit of looking macho!
Well, I have just witnessed the most macho thing on the planet – and not a dodgy bit of lycra in sight!
Once the temperature starts to drop in the Scottish autumn, it is time for the deer rut! Just round the corner is the Bainloch Deer Park, and I have just spent an amazing hour driving around with Derek, the owner and guide. In thousands of acres of woodland, red, roe and silka deer, as well as some elk, roam freely and for most of the year just graze peacefully. But this is the time of year when the Does (remember the song from “The Sound of Music”) come into season and the “lads” have to strut their stuff.
It was the first time I had seen deer in the wild and, believe me, they are magical. This, combined with Derek’s encyclopaedic knowledge, made for a brilliant way to spend an hour.
The forest is a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees which look beautiful with the changing autumn colours and, as you drive around, you can look down into little glens where the resident stags have literally “made their mark” to establish their territory.
Picture a disco in the 1970’s:
The girls dance around their handbags looking cuter than cute
And the young bucks hang around the edges nervously, wondering whether they fancy their chances
……And then you see him !!
I will admit that I have become a bit of a wildlife junkie since we bought the house and whether it’s the cheeky little otter that appears under the jetty, or the heron that flies like a Stealth Fighter across the Loch, it’s always a matter of trying to grab the camera before they disappear.
No such problem here. In the most macho display you could ever wish to see (and I know it sounds clichéd) he literally is the master of all he surveys.
“Take as long as you want for your photo ‘cos I look great!”
Somebody did tell me that you will “hear” as well as “see” the deer during the rut, and sure enough, it wasn’t long before the young bucks, and us in the 4 x 4, were given the “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough” roar.
Nobody was brave enough to “lock horns” and challenge him while we were there and, as each stag has a harem of possibly twenty “ladies”, I can’t wait to go back in a few months to see the live show of “Bambi” when the fawns are born.
You are spoiled for choice, with a continually changing scene of bird and animal life, and Derek’s amazing passion for nature, but nothing will compare to seeing the sheer magnificent power of that stag.
Because there are no real natural predators and no hunting, the deer are really tame and come very close to the vehicle, which would make it an amazing place for a trip with the kids.