Stag and squirrel join West Cork’s sea swimming brigade

October 17th, 2021 11:40 PM

By Jackie Keogh

In this still from a video posted online, the stag (circled) can be seen crossing the water between Union Hall and Glandore.

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IT’S a bit early for reindeer, but there have been sightings of stags in Glandore – and one of them has joined West Cork’s burgeoning sea-swimming brigade.

A video of a stag posted by Heather Mahmood at the weekend, making an early morning crossing from Union Hall to Glandore, continues to fascinate viewers.

The video was posted on Instagram on Sunday morning and was seen by a local landowner who believes it entered the water at Poulnavone, Ballincolla, near Union Hall.

He said he and his wife have a woodland and have had to put up a deer fence to try and keep them out.
‘We have an incursion of six or seven at the moment,’ he told The Southern Star. ‘We saw a doe and a fawn and then, the other day, we saw five more. There are close to 30 deer on the headland at Carrigillihy,’ he added.

‘It is not the first time they have been sighted swimming in the water either. Clearly, they wander far and wide, particularly during rutting season, and are well capable of getting into the water to travel.’

Clare Heardman, conservation ranger at Glengarriff Nature Reserve agreed, saying it is ‘not out of character’ for deer to swim.

But, it seems, it’s not just deer that are taking to the water. According to Clare, the tourist attraction that is Garinish Island now has another attraction – a resident red squirrel.

‘People have been asking how it got there,’ she said, ‘but red squirrels are known to swim and it’s possible that it swam to Garinish from a woodland in Glengarriff harbour.’

What next? DryRobes for stags and squirrels?!

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