The ground frost lingers after dawn. On mornings such as these, deer venture out of their woodland cover in search of fresh-thawed grass. I am being watched by a Roe doe as the dogs and I follow the railway line. She stands still in the lee of the old hedge; only as light movement of her head and the twitch of her ears as she monitors us. No need for flight, she is confident in her distance from us and the proximity of the haven of Keeper’s Wood. She is still there after we turn around and head for home.
Further on a Muntjac Deer adopts a different tactic as it crosses our path, its ungainly pig-like run following a straight-ish path to the wood. The Barn Owl does not waste energy in a hunting flight this morning, but perches hunched on a fence post, but patiently watching.