Spring has fully sprung, with nights getting much lighter and milder, wildlife being active and plenty of action at our Wildlife Hide.
When the Badgers visit the hide, guests admire their cuteness, attractive looks and comical way they ‘hoover’ up the peanuts. The European Badger aren’t known for being vicious, especially towards humans, but males at this time of year can get a bit protective over territory and even food! First, they latch eyes with each other as a warning. One will then decide the other isn’t welcome to their peanuts and will begin a fight. They often fight tail to neck, shaking each other with loud growling noises. As we often say to guests, it looks and sounds worse than it is, and they will go on their normal duties. It certainly gets everyone’s hearts racing and sounds of sympathetic “aw” from watching guests.
On a lighter note, there has been plenty of other visits from the Badgers, with a female or two having a feast before returning to the sett. A couple have very prominent teats, meaning somewhere there are some cubs being suckled. They should be due to come out of the sett soon after eight weeks in the sett, which is exciting time for all.
As mentioned previously, other mammals and birds also show at the hide. Brown Hare, Roe Deer barking in the trees behind and Wood Mice and Bank Voles scurrying around for peanuts. A slow walk up the track and Woodcock can be seen sweeping over our heads Roding at dusk. The farmed Red Deer on the estate like to come and say hello to passing guests, possibly thinking we are going to feed them. Whilst in the hide one night, and Tawny Owl could be heard above before swooping down and landing momentarily on the Pine Martens branch, too quick for a photo unfortunately.
Pine Marten Frenzy
Over the past few months, I have mentioned the fact that there have been a few different Pine Martens coming to the hide. This hasn’t stopped, and over the last couple of weeks about three more new faces have been seen in and around the hide. There is no doubt that they are becoming bolder, and about ten new ones have been seen this year. Now, I know this sounds exciting, but I am afraid it doesn’t guarantee they will return or appear every night. Some of these have only been seen the once, with a few returning every so often. Why this is, we are not entirely sure, but it proves that Pine Martens are about and hopefully are going to have a successful breeding year.
One friendly face who has been coming in is a large male Pine Marten and has unique markings. The front of his face is dark brown and shorter haired than the rest of his chestnut coat. This could be the end of his winter shedding and it just hasn’t grown in yet, but it makes him stand out from the rest.
Still plenty of time to come and visit our Wildlife Hide as the nights turn lighter with the waiting arrival of cubs and its. Check our Availability and come along for an evening of wildlife watching.