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WELCOME TO THE SPEYSIDE WILDLIFE BLOG

Including our Evening Mammal Hide reports, seasonal updates and holiday trip reports.

 

Curious Cub

It has been a beautiful and peaceful time at the Speyside Wildlife Mammal Hide and a joy to watch the Badgers continue to nosy their way around the area looking for food in the summer evening light. The clan have relaxed into the more forgiving summer months with both the food availability and the temperatures increasing. They appear to be very happy to feed in close proximity to one another and methodically move throughout the foraging space silently swinging their heads fro

New Beginnings

A week of beautiful weather has had everyone in the Cairngorms breathing a sigh of relief after a particularly tricky cold and wet start to the summer period. As the summer migrants begin to settle down into nesting activities, and many of our resident species already in the process of raising and feeding their new fledglings, frantic feeding activity can be witnessed at the hide. Much to the amusement of guests, after the bait has been placed out for the Badgers and Pine Mar

New Arrival

We have had an exciting new arrival at the Speyside Wildlife Hide this month. A female Pine Marten with a perfectly placed brown spot in the center of her bib made an appearance very early one evening. She arrived so early into the Hide that there were still members of the Badger clan moving around and foraging beneath her.  As she climbed into the area and made her way across the pole she very cautiously observed the Badgers foraging below her and we were able to get a clear

Sociable Sightings

Early Spring is a particularly busy time for the Badgers social life and an array of different social behaviors have emerged. The Badgers at the hide have become especially animated and interactive during the past week exhibiting a whole host of different behaviors such as; scent marking, grooming, chasing, and grunting. The female sows, recently emerged from the birthing period in February, have become especially enticing to the boars and this has heightened the intensity an

A Busy Hide as the Nights Lighten

This week has brought back the colder weather, delivering us ‘lambing snow’ and the Badgers have been making prompt appearances at the hide, arriving just before the sun has set, with the females typically arriving first for a quick feed. With lighter nights arriving it is easier to observe the subtle differences between the Badger’s coat coloration; the colours can vary from a darker grey to a slight orange/ brown hue. One of the male cubs from last year has begun to assert

Secret Lives of Badgers – Hide Update

As we come to the end of March, spring is in the air, the evenings are getting much lighter and the wildlife continue to get more active at our wildlife hide. We still are not able to open to visitors yet but hope that you are still enjoying our update blogs and live videos on Facebook on Monday evenings. Most evenings we are seeing most of the clan of Badgers as they make their way from the sett to begin their night of foraging for food. Stopping off at the hide for a snack

Spring Signs at the Wildlife Hide

The wildlife around our wildlife hide has spring in their steps and activity levels are beginning to increase. As the last of the birds like Song Thrush and Robin sing their evening song the Tawny Owls have been heard from nearby woods, getting ready for the breeding season ahead. Time for dinner! After the previous blog, the Badgers have been showing signs of breeding as the whole clan venture out in search of food. The females tend to arrive first for an early bite before t

Badgers becoming active at the Wildlife Hide

Is spring in the air at the evening wildlife hide? We are coming to the end of the February and the animal’s behaviour begins to change. Since the last blog we had the coldest night, with temperatures in the area down to -19 degrees Celsius. Not surprisingly, the animals were quiet as they stayed warm in their homes and finding any food was hard with the ground being frozen solid. There has been a sudden thaw though and there are a few signs of spring. Ice on the hide window

Snow Continues at the Wildlife Hide

As snow still falls here in the Cairngorms, we cannot help but think about spring days when we can hopefully welcome you back to the wildlife hide. Although wildlife is quiet, changes are happening in their behaviour and lives as they prepare their homes for new family members in the spring. Underground, Badgers will be preparing their sett chambers soon with new bedding and female Pine Martens will be looking for natal dens. Daylight hours have been notably increased over th

New Year at the Wildlife Hide

Happy new year from everyone at Speyside Wildlife and of course the wildlife here in the Cairngorms National Park! Thank you to all the support from opening our new wildlife hide next year, we hope to welcome you all to the hide this year. The wildlife hasn’t stopped over the festive period and we are going to look at the activity over the past few weeks here at the evening wildlife hide. Pine Marten prints in fresh snow Badger prints in the snow We have been in a winter wond

Footprints in the Snow

There is nothing quite like waking up to a blanket of snow that has fallen overnight. The dull browns of the winter countryside are now shining and bright white. Watching wildlife in the winter can be harder with short daylight hours, birds calling less and weather not always on our side. However, wildlife is still around although we can’t always see it. Unless you see them in mud or sand, animal footprints can be hard to find but exciting to know what animals are in your gar

Close Encounters at the Wildlife Hide

We have been starting the hide earlier now that we are in the darkest month. With the first low-level snow, the wildlife sightings are less but there are still plenty of things to listen and look out for during these evenings. Young Tawny Owl from the Summer Past visitors to the hide may have heard or even been lucky to see a Tawny Owl. They are rare to see in light in the winter, apart from flying across the road in front of your car headlights. Their recognisable ‘’hoo hoo’

Acrobatics at the Wildlife Hide

The nights are dark, the snow has been in the air and the wildlife has been active in the evening watch hide. With fewer visitors, the cameras have been catching much of the activity as well as our weekly live streams from the hide on Facebook. Two Pine martens (Sue Parker) The female Pine Marten that we have been following from previous blogs has continued to be seen at the hide, sometimes enjoying a hen’s egg as a treat. On our night cameras, however, we have picked up a se

Special Guest at the Wildlife Hide

The Autumn storms have passed over and the nights are drawing darker at the wildlife hide. Since opening in July we have watched the wildlife and their behaviours as we start to enter the winter months. Our guests have had the pleasure of enjoying these sightings and getting to know the animals too. Mike and Kate ready for the evening watch We welcome many guests into the hide, from members of the public to wildlife groups who are exploring this part of the Scottish Highlands

Hide and Seek at the Wildlife Hide

Dark nights are upon us and as the Autumn turns to Winter the feeding and movement of the mammals will begin to change. The wildlife hide has still had plenty of activity over the last fortnight. Common Pipistrelle bats flying overhead, taking shelter under the tree canopy and Tawny Owls hooting from nearby trees, sometimes just out of sight of the lights. Wood Mouse with its snack (Kate M) The smallest mammal, the Wood Mouse has been keeping guests entertained with their spe

Autumn Activity and News from the Wildlife Hide

The nights are getting darker and there is a cool nip in the air, leaves are scattering on the ground and signs of autumn are all around. Red Deer stag rutting (David Braddock) As the meeting time changes to keep up with the Badgers feeding patterns, we are hearing the final bird songs of the evening before it gets dark. October is a busy month for many animals and one very vocal one that we now hear every evening is the Red Deer. Red Deer stags ‘rut’ in the autumn in prepara

Change in Season at the Wildlife Hide

We are heading into the Autumn months now at the wildlife hide. Nights are cooling and the outside lighting is becoming essential as we reach the end of September. Visitors continue to enjoy the sights that the hide has to offer, not forgetting the charismatic Wood Mice and Tawny Owls being heard from nearby woods. The Badger clan continue to be the highlight of any visit, watching the interactions between the family, the cubs continuing to grow and noticing a change in feedi

Grooming and Fights at the Wildlife Hide

The past few weeks have enjoyed welcoming so many visitors to our new wildlife hide facility. The summer holidays are over, but the season continues to thrive. With the nights becoming increasingly darker as we head into September, the start time is earlier to fit with the behaviour that the animals are showing. The Badger family still enjoy coming out in daylight which makes for great viewing, with some birds and deer also being seen during this time. As dusk falls, the Tawn

Summer at the Wildlife Hide

Our new wildlife viewing facility has now been open for three weeks, and it feels great to be able to share wildlife sightings with the public again since last year. With reduced days available and new measures introduced to protect everyone, each evening has been busy with bookings and the weather has been on our side, with some stunning sunsets from the viewing window. Red Squirrel As we now come to the end of August, it is hard to believe we are coming to the end of the su

Welcome to our Wildlife Hide

It has been an exciting time at our wildlife hide, with more times to follow. After a few months of unanticipated waiting we are delighted to now welcome the public to our new facility in the Cairngorms National Park. We have been continuing to monitor the activity at the hide, including bringing live views on Facebook and running a couple of evenings to test out the facilities. Badger (Kate M) One of the regular Badger cubs from this year is gaining more confidence by the w