I have recently been having quite a lot of visit to Silver Trees Caravan Park , a private site, in Cannock Chase. Knowing that this is the time of year that many of the fawns are born to the many Fallow Deer around this area, I set a series of Bushnells around the site with Rob Winstanley, who has a holiday van there.
I will be creating a page on my website very soon all about this beautiful place and its wildlife, but I wanted to share some of the special clips I have captured so far; probably some of my all time favourite Bushnell captures!
The Fallow give birth deep inside the protective curtains of bracken that now cover a lot of the wooded areas. The fawns are left, hidden, by the mothers during the day and the does return to feed them. It is very important to remember if you ever find a very small fawn, apparently abandoned, in the woods DO NOT remove it! Its mother knows exactly where it is!
Being of a very timid nature, it would be almost impossible to film there new arrivals, but the trail cams are perfect for such an event! Hiding in the bracken, completely remote, mine have been working hard filming in several sites. One area has proved particularly productive! This is a small area where there is a disused sett. It means there is a small ‘arena’ that has no bracken in it. Feeling safe, as they are surrounded by tall fronds, the young fawns have emerged and stayed in this area, sometimes alone, sometimes with their mothers. Luckily for me, it has given me a wonderful opportunity to capture some very special moments.
Fallow deer are usually a light brown, speckled coloration. You will notice that some of these individuals are very dark. These are a melanistic form. Melanism is a development of the coloured pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages and is the opposite of albinism. The word ‘melanism’ is deduced from the Greek meaning black pigment. The melanistic form is dominant, I think, so that if a melanistic stag services a doe, the fawn will be melanistic. This is why you can see a melanistic fawn with a normal coloured female and a normal coloured fawn with a melanistic female… it all depends who dad was!
Here are a few screen shots from some of the clips I have captured…. these fawns are only a few weeks old…
I have lots more clips to come, but have started to combine these and create some video montages. I have uploaded these onto YouTube.
Here is a flavour of some of them….
There are lots more to come, but it takes ages to go through them all and choose the best ones! As you can imagine, Rob, I and the owner of the site, Trevor, are delighted with the clips which are really showing a unique insight into the early lives of these beautiful new babies!
I have created a playlist of all the images so far and this can be seen HERE