A recent dormouse survey in our woodland at Paccombe Farm came up with a resounding zero signs of dormice, but a wonderful surprise lying near a sweet chestnut tree!
This roe deer fawn was lying perfectly motionless at the base of one of the trees fitted with a dormouse survey box, and if it was not for the fact we were checking each box, we would have surely walked straight past its tiny curled figure, hidden in the bluebells.
Roe deer leave their very young fawns for large parts of the day and night, going off to feed and only returning to the youngster to give it milk a handful of times through the day. The defence strategy of the fawn is to keep perfectly still and largely go un-noticed until it is old enough to run and jump as well as its mother, at which time it will stay by her side and graze the local area.
The fawn never once raised its head, but its huge satellite dish ears swivelled and flicked when it realised its position had been discovered. There were six of us conducting the dormouse check, so very carefully and very quietly we backed away from the fawn, leaving it to rest in its azure bed of bluebells. A very special wild encounter here at The Donkey Sanctuary!