With the work now beginning on the giant pylon line from Beauly to Denny, which comes through my woodland, I had to find other land to stalk as I have been severly limited by risk assesments and disturbance from going out here. I found a place to rent about an hour north of where I live in Glen Urquhart and went out at 3am yesterday to give it a look. The area is wooded ,of about 500hectares and has 90% in new re-stock. There is a few Roe ,some nomadic Reds and a huge population of Sika.
After only 5 mins of walking I saw a group of 4 Sika Stags and settled down to watch them. They are in great condition but the surprizing thing was their colour. My Sika males are light brown with a wide dorsal stripe and silver to cream spots. These were very light,even lighter than my hinds , with a narrow dorsal stripe and huge white spots. They reminded me of some Fallow I saw in a deer park. (Sorry I have never stalked in England) I spent the next 4 hours looking over the property and saw in total 8 separate groups of Sika all which were of this very light colouration.
I know in the historical record that a lot of the original imports came from Japanese parks where the different races of Sika had run together for many years so a lot of the imports were of mixed blood already. Perhaps depending on what strain was in the genetic majority in these animals gives what we see now? I found a picture in wikipedia of a captive bred Formosan Sika and it is a dead ringer for what I saw yesterday.
What colour are your deer?