As England experienced a heat wave, here in the Cairngorms we welcomed a breeze to our warm air and rain drops to our dry gardens and woodlands. With the high fire risk still in place, since the beginning of May, it reminds us that rain is still a vital part of our British Summer no matter how frustrating it is when days plans must change. With overcast skies in the evenings, the animals are tempted out just that little bit earlier.

Female Pine Marten (Kate Mennie)

As unpredictable in timing as usual, our Pine Martens have been making us wait or surprising us at the most unexpected times. The Pine Marten Kit is still a little wary of the Badgers after her ‘scare’ and often waits in a nearby tree for Mum to have her fill. Watching the infer-red cameras can show the kits location as the mother collects her on its way into the undergrowth. The kit did however manage to pluck up the courage to come into the hide very late on and have some food herself.

Badger feast (Kate Mennie)

With two main feeding areas at the front and back of the hide, the animals can choose where they would like to have their ‘snacks.’ Last week a female Badger was happily eating at the back, when the more wary ‘acrobatic’ male Badger snuck in at the front. For minutes they were happily eating their way through the food unaware of each other’s presence. When other Badgers joined in at the back, they all trotted round to the front, only to be confronted with bare rocks. The male Badger had scurried off after his feast.

(Kate Mennie)

The walk up to the hide with the guests can be a nice chance to stretch the legs and possibly see some wildlife as we go. Last week however, the heatwave from England had sent an invasion of flying ants ingulfing the footpath as they enjoyed the evening light. Special treatment was giving that night with a lift in a vehicle to avoid the invasion.

Roe Deer (Kate Mennie)

One evening however, rustling was heard as guests walked towards the hide. Round the next corner a Roe deer, more shocked than us, bounded its way over across the path and over the hill into the long grass. It was even too quick for a photo opportunity.

Click to have your chance to visit the Wildlife Hide.

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