08/10/20. The sounds of Red Deer rutting in Martindale, Cumbria.

Every autumn, usually early October, red deer stags display their strength, size and virility in the “rut”. It is visually impressive, but not always easy or safe to see up close. It is equally audibly impressive.

They thrash their antlers around in streams and in the bracken. Occasionally they come to blows. Most of the time they bellow, groan and grunt, especially if an opportunistic stag approaches an established group (of 1 male and several females) too closely.

Early in October of 2020 I visited Martindale; a somewhat remote valley near Ullswater that is home to a long established population of red deer. Here are two recordings of what I heard:

I recorded these on a track just southwest of Dale Head (south of Martindale old church), and overlooking the Nab to the west.

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