See red deer rutting season at RSPB Minsmere
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
October marks the start of RSPB Minsmere's dramatic red deer mating season.
Known at the 'rut', this month will see males battle it out to father the next generation.
Visitors can watch the largest red deer population in England from a viewing point on Westleton Heath — found on the north edge of the park, about two miles from the visitors centre.
Ian Barthorpe, visitor experience officer, said: "The annual red deer rut is one of those natural spectacles that should be high on any wildlife fan’s must-see list each year.
"It’s an all-round sensory experience.
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"Not only will you see large herds of hinds [female deers] gathering, you’ll also hear the impressive, deep-throated bellow of huge stags battling for supremacy.
"With luck you may even smell the musty scent of the males, which urinate to mark their domain.
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"They, in turn, ‘taste’ the air to determine if the hinds are ready to mate."
The deer are at their most active at dawn and dusk, but are usually visible throughout the day.
Mr Barthorpe said: "As darkness descends, and the bellowing intensifies, you’ll even feel the hairs on your neck stiffen.”
For more information on RSPB Minsmere click here.