. Wildlife viewing

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting the outdoors for many people is seeing wildlife, especially unusual or large mammals and birds. Sometimes driving along roads provides opportunities, as some animals use the verges to graze, or they cross roads en route from one place to another, and do not seem to be disturbed by the presence of vehicles. Birds of prey can be observed hunting along road edges for small mammals, taking carrion in the form of road kills and using utility poles and wires as perches.

Often road traffic hits and kills wildlife while large animals such as deer can inflict damage to vehicles and injury to passengers. Where scenic or tourist routes encourage wildlife viewing they should be protected from injury by traffic by a range of measures, such as wildlife warning signs for motorists, passages beneath the road to allow wildlife to cross the route in safety, fences and small roadside mirrors to reflect headlight beams off the road to warn wildlife at night.

Some drivers will stop and leave the vehicle to take photos of wildlife, which may not be so oblivious to the presence of a human as they might be of a car. Hence an attractive alternative is to view wildlife in more natural settings, in circumstances where there is no risk to the animals and birds or to the people who have come to look at them. Moreover, the hint of mystery and element of surprise on arriving at a place from which a herd of deer or bison or flocks of birds can be seen adds greatly to the experience of the visit.

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 11:16 pm