Our pal Wallace was due to arrive on Saturday 3rd, the second week in October is when the Red Deer Rut generally really kicks off on Rona. So, since the middle of September I have one eye on the hills around looking for wandering stags. They tend to keep a low profile apart from an area in the South of Rona where they hang out, but during the rut they can pop up anywhere and when the rut starts proper, it is always the most interesting time for deer and deer management on Rona. The weather has improved immensely and the deer have been keeping to the higher hills, this small group of hinds have been up here for most of the month. So far this week it has been an Indian Summer for sure.
It is a great time of the year to get up at first light (not too early) and head out. It is quieter now with very few yachties and the season is changing, so a quick trip South or North depending on the wind can usually give me an idea of what deer we have.
I came round the corner just 300 yards down the South path and here was this guy standing just off the road, I don’t know who got the biggest surprise. I knew the stag but had not seen him since last October.
The stag above was Wednesday morning and with a pretty full day ahead I had a quick look around then got ready for a Portree trip. I had a few tings to do, get to the bank, see the architects, visit a few houses they had built, stay overnight then pick up sheep in the morning. It was so good to have some settled weather at last and an enjoyable run out to Carbost and then Fiskavaig to see the ‘Black House’.
It was a beautiful morning in Portree, Caley was bang on time with my 6 new gimmers bought from Valtos on Skye. We got them aboard before 8am and after a wee wait for the daily papers I was on my way back.
The light at this time of the year is so good it is not difficult to find something to photograph.
I got home mid morning and not wanting to let the sheep go right onto the pier, we had to take them singly up to the park. If I had let them off the boat who knows where they would have gone. Not very conventional and maybe it is about time I got a sheepdog.
Mostly they were very happy to pull me up to the park. Once in the field they were settled and feeding away quite quietly.
Saturday came, we had the changeover but only with Wallace coming. Squirrel our old ferryman who was on the MV Stardust had taken a trip out on MV Aspire with some American friends who took off on a video tour of the harbour.
20 minutes later they were off skirting round an overnight yacht visitor up from Inverinate who was on the mooring. A late visitor who had been trying to get to Rona all summer but the weather had not been too clever.
They left around mid day and late on Kenny, Brian and Henry from Shieldaig arrived on their Yacht Sula for an overnight visit.
Myself and Wallace took a toodle up to the Applenet mast and had a spy for deer, we saw quite a few deer around and were quite confident of seeing more the next day.
I took Wallace up North on Sunday morning as the wind was out of the South, I dropped him off and he walked back to the Lodge to get an idea of deer on the ground ready for the weeks stalking ahead.
I got back to Big Harbour mid morning just in time to see Kenny and crew setting sail. it was a good chance to get some photographs of the new yacht but without my specs I could not see the settings on the Nikon camera and ended up with some very blue (cold) shots. Sometimes these cameras are too complicated.
It was a beautiful morning with not much wind but later on they found some at the top of Rona and enjoyed a pretty fast sail home.
This week it is all about the stalking and we have opened another page for that on the menu bar. The Rona Red Deer Rut 2015.