Amherst Island is situated in Lake Ontario near Kingston, and for at least a couple of years, Bob and I had intended to visit it. The intention was to photograph birds of prey that winter there. Our explorations were enriched by of a healthy population of White-tailed Deer that casually foraged in different areas.
It is necessary to take a car ferry to Amherst Island. During the 20-minute crossing, Bob and I climbed up to a viewing platform on the upper deck. Wind turbines seemed to dominate the skyline from one end of the island to the other.
There are several roads that crisscross Amherst Island with Marshall 40 Foot Road being the worst to traverse. We traveled most of the interconnecting roads over the day and a half that we spent on the Island.
Although we concentrated on scanning the landscape for birds of prey, we did not pass up the opportunity to snap photos of several White-tailed Deer that we spotted.
Farm fields abut woodlands and wetlands on Amherst Island so there is ample variety of habitat to support a diversity of wildlife.
Owl Woods is one particularly large plot of forest through which we hiked. A few days after we visited, public access to the Woods was forbidden in order to protect people from possible injury. Hunters would be staking out the Woods for a 3-week period during the fall deer hunting season.
Late the first afternoon, as Bob and I zeroed in on this Snowy Owl with our cameras, we were momentarily distracted…
when a White-tailed Deer leapt out of a thicket and dashed across the nearby open field.
The late day sunshine lent a rich golden colour to the Deer’s already ruddy coat, and there was no missing that flash of white as the Deer bounded away.
Meant as a warning signal to other White-tailed Deer in the area, the white tail is how the Deer got its name. Acting as a beacon for other herd mates, the deer’s “white flag” shows the way to safer ground.
It was so much fun navigating the rural roads of the Island as there was always hope of another wildlife sighting just around the corner.
At one such bend in the road, we noticed a young White-tailed Deer strolling along a laneway.
I slid from the car furtively in hopes of a better vantage point, but the Deer was not to be fooled by my slow movements. It soon slipped into the cover of long grass and dense undergrowth and disappeared from sight.
I am sure, given the landscape of Amherst Island, that farmers often have Deer approaching their properties because of the allure of potential food crops.
On our second afternoon on Amherst Island, Bob and I were about to drive Marshall 40 Foot Road again in order to reach Owl Woods from the south side of the Island. This young White-tailed Deer was making use of the same lane to go in what seemed like the same direction.
After I hopped from the car, the White-tailed Deer seemed mesmerized by my presence.
As the Deer foraged on random bits of vegetation, it took momentary glimpses in my direction…
and dared to walk towards me. That action had me backing away and returning to the safety of the car.
We put the car in gear and began to creep forward,
causing the White-tailed Deer to bolt and escape around the corner of a home situated at the intersection of South Shore Road. We were very pleased to see that the Deer were not habituated to the presence of humans.
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