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Roe deer madness

From December 21 to January 1, I went for a walk to meet the animals I'd stopped seeing at the end of the summer.  To my surprise, there are deer everywhere - it's crazy. I see about ten of them every morning, separated into different groups (which vary according to the day). There are a lot of youngsters of the year, and I have the impression that they sometimes form groups without adults.

On the first morning, I managed to get very close to a group of 5 roe deer (1 male, 1 female and 3 youngsters, probably 2 females and a male), until I found myself just a few meters away from them. The youngsters were very curious and came forward to take a closer look at me. On the last day, I managed to get close to a group of 8 deer resting in a field. There were 2 adults (1 male and 1 female) and 6 young of the year of more or less similar size. I watched them interact for several hours. The male had beautiful velvet antlers, and often chased the young when they got too close. The youngsters seemed to take it more as a game, as they were jumping up and down at the same time. I saw the cubs licking each other's heads and necks, as well as the female and a youngster. I observed a lot of stretching and the brocade scratching its head and antlers using the trunk and then the branches of a tree.

I also came across a fox and several wild boars. I hadn't seen any wild boar all year, nor any tracks. This winter, traces in the ground reappeared and finally, one morning, I came across them. I went back to see the state of the badger gallery I'd been following over the summer. I was impressed to see the whole gallery properly (thanks to the loss of leaves from the trees) and the activity that still seemed to be very much present. The gallery stretches for 150 meters, there are many mouths and these are over time neglected or cleaned, sometimes even new mouths are dug. Hopefully not too many in the vegetable garden next door! I also found their footprints in the mud nearby.

I discovered that many birds spend the winter in this area. I came across all kinds of passerines: great, blue and long-tailed tits, tree finches, cute wrens, robins, blackbirds, creepers, sparrows, magpies, wood pigeons and various corvids. Among the passerines, I met the mythical woodpeckers, including the spotted, the black, the black and possibly the green. It's the first time I've seen a black woodpecker around here, and the first time I've seen a pileated woodpecker. While I was waiting for the deer against a tree, a great egret flew into the distance. It seemed to be looking for food. I watched its elegant silhouette against the light.

I've been amazed every morning, finding large tracks of black woodpeckers on the trees to feed, or coming across wild boar, for example. I'm happy to see all this wildlife and its diversity, which I hope reflects the good health of this ecosystem, even if it's a highly cultivated area and the wildlife is subject to hunting. Not all these encounters could be properly immortalized, if at all, but here is a series of photos from a few days of observation in the Haut-Rhin. During my outings, it was difficult not to disturb the mammals, as there were many of them, and sometimes just inadvertently walking along without seeing them in the distance could cause them to flee. Nevertheless, I did my best not to bother them and make them move around unexpectedly as little as possible. I like to observe nature, but apparently nature doesn't like to be observed.

Photos of tracks and more here!

Written on 03.01.2021

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