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.
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’ calls can be heard on a calm evening in nearby woods, but some nights heard close to the hide. After hearing a Tawny Owl coming closer, we caught a glimpse of one behind the trees before it decided to come for a closer look. With the outdoor LED lights, the Wood Mice are easier to see and this Tawny Owl was trying to take advantage of this. It was great to see a Tawny Owl this close.
The female Pine Marten that we have seen over the past few weeks has still been seen and even stayed for thirty minutes one evening. With the overhanging trees, she has been sneaking up on us and suddenly appearing on the feeding platform. It does also mean we get to witness the agility of Pine Martens as they weave through the branches and climb.
Our Badgers have been much quieter, feeding less as the nights became colder and even some snow falling to low levels last week. One or two Badgers have been seen at a time and it has been fun finding evidence of their visits in the morning. As well as toppled over logs and digging in the soil, the snow made it easy to see their footprints and even following them around the garden.