When does a group become a herd? The Brampton group of Roe Deer have had a successful year. Each of the two does is being trailed by a well grown faun. Including the buck that brings the group to five, which must in itself be almost a herd.
The behaviour of the individuals within the herd varies – there always seem to be one doe that looks after the two fauns, whilst the other wanders off in search of food on it’s own. It is not clear whether the wandering doe is always the same one or whether they take it in turns, no doubt some naturalist has studied this behaviour more closely than I have. But in August the regular sighting is a core herd of buck, a doe and two fauns with the other doe often being half a mile away or more.
August also saw the buck closely attending the does, often chasing them round in circles in a sort of Keystone Cops manner. Obviously with only one thing on his mind. There are circular pathway marks in the grass, clear evidence of his persistance. We will have to wait until the Spring to see how successful he has been.
No doubt, if either of the 2010 fauns are male they will be chased off the territory at some stage. A successful buck would not tolerate any rivals on his patch.