Roe Deer are one of five deer species found in the New Forest, and although widely distributed, are most often encountered around the forest fringe. There appears to be a particularly high concentration utilising the pastures and paddocks near our house in Woodlands at the moment, and I’ve recently counted as many as 25 at dusk in a couple of loose ‘herds’. However, this afternoon, while putting slides together for tonight’s Wild New Forest talk for Dorset Wildlife Trust, I glanced out of the window and saw a pair of Roe Deer just a few metres away munching through our planted borders! Most of the plants are native self-seeding species so nothing too precious, but some fencing reinforcements are going to be required before we start planting up the raised vegetable beds this spring!
My talk preparations were also interrupted by a parcel delivery from Swarovski Optik, who seem to have overtaken Leica as the optics of choice for many serious wildlife watchers. My five-year old Swarovski compact binoculars recently took an accidental drop onto a hard surface, damaging the hinge mechanism and knocking the lenses out of alignment. I therefore sent them off to Swarovski in Austria (via their UK office) a couple of weeks ago, battered and bruised, in anticipation of a hefty repair bill. They arrived back today, fully repaired, internally cleaned, and basically as good as new, with the repair cost apparently totalling over £180 but provided free-of-charge! The Swarovski customer service is legendary, and one of the reasons why I’ve recently favoured their optics (as well as the excellent optical quality), but this is the first time I’ve properly tested it. Very pleasantly surprised, so thankyou Swarovski!