So this evening I caught a muntjac strolling around the pear and apple trees, pulling their branches down to eat. Grrr! Then it wandered over to the pond and took a long drink and my heart went out to it, because nearly all of the local ditches and small streams around here are currently dry. How can I begrudge the dratted deer some water? Obviously I can’t.
This one is a young buck I believe, with v-shaped facial markings and antlers. The second photo is a fairly good image to show the huge scent glands (preorbital) below the eyes. Muntjac have two pairs of scent glands on their faces, the second set are less obvious and are slits aligned with the markings to the antlers. Both sets of glands are used to mark territories and boundaries.
Once the deer had finished drinking and moved on to munch some more plants I made some noise opening the window and watched it fade into our boundary hedge.
My second spot for this post is a bold robin, which has chosen a planted container stationed at one of the busiest intersections in the Walled Garden at Wimpole to build a nest. I first spotted the robin a few weeks ago when it was gathering material to build a nest. The robin was continuously going to and fro to a large glazed pot with various bits and pieces in its beak. Then Easter happened and as I hadn’t noticed any recent activity near the container I supposed that the crowds of visitors had put it off.
However, this week I noticed a new wad of packed moss between the heucheras and realised that the robin was actually sitting on the nest … with us hoeing and mowing a couple of feet away.
A little later the bird had shifted around and become more visible.
The plants in the container are desperate for some water, but I was luckily able to speak with the gardeners before an indiscriminate drenching was carried out!
The final wildlife spot to share in this post is of a moth. I discovered it on the edge of a seed tray I was using and only noticed it because of the amazing colour of its body. Now I know practically nothing about moths, but I suspect that this example was newly emerged from its chrysalis because it’s wings didn’t seem to be fully extended.
I’ve not seen one like it before, but with such a dramatic red body I was sure that I would be able look up it up online fairly easily. And so it was … this appears to be a Ruby Tiger moth (Phragmatobia fuliginosa).
Regardless of my lack of familiarity with it, it turns out to be a fairly common species, with two broods a year in the south of England, between April and June, then August and September. It is a day-flying moth, so it was not an aberration to see it at midday.
Wildlife Wednesday is a monthly meme hosted by Tina of mygardenersays. I am joining her with this post for May’s outing.