Crossing my Path
Looking back in my journal to last year confirmed that the rut is likely to start for the red deer herd that lives near our home. I went to check out the rutting field (which still has a crop on it) and any evidence that the mature males have returned to this area, having moved away from the hinds and younger deer after last year's rut.
The first thing I came across was this and a couple of other hinds in undergrowth near the track that runs adjacent to the field. Interestingly rather than staying in the undergrowth (which I couldn't penetrate) they broke out into the open and across the field. I missed the first two but just managed to capture this one.
The next thing I saw was a 12 pointer stag on the far side of the field. This tended to confirm my theory that the adult males had returned and I'm also pretty sure I heard another stag roaring in the distance. I hung around for a bit, seeing plenty of deer activity in this and adjacent fields. I shall be checking back regularly, though I've been told that the rut won't start proper until the males have experienced some colder nights than we are currently having.