See red deer rutting season at RSPB Minsmere

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

The red deer's bellowing intensifies as the darkness decends - 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.

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A stag drives off one of his rivals - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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.

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

One of the herds at RSPB Minsmere - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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.

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Minsmere has the largest population of red deer in England - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"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."

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A red deer stag and doe - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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.

 

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A pair of red deer hinds - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Stags gather herds of hinds in autumn to try and father as many of the next generation as possible - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A red deer stag bellowing - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red deer can live as long as 18 years - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

An adult red deer stag typically weighs in at 200 kilograms - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A red deer stag watches his herd - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Red Deer at Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A majestic red deer stag and observers at RSPB Minsmere - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND


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