Coping with the cold at the Wildlife Hide

With November quickly coming to an end the mammal’s activity levels are more noticeable and so are the temperatures. The week started very cold with lows of -8c at night and -5c during the day, making foliage crisp. With the heated hide, guests were kept warm as the animals braved the cold temperatures to forage for food.

Badgers feeding on a frosty night (Kate M)

The Badgers were certainly feeling the cold, coming in early to the hide in the week. On a couple of evenings one or two were walking across the path up to the hide and waiting down the hill whilst the food was going out. Rather than coming in as a clan, they have been visiting more solitary, having their share of the peanuts. As mentioned in a previous blog, the old female Badger that has been absent for a few months has been coming in. She stored up on some food for the Winter giving us a good view and a chance to see her again.

Old Female Badger (Kate M)

The Wood Mice have continued to be active, even feeding from right underneath the Badgers feet, to start caching their food for the Winter too. As the temperatures became mild again by the end of the week the Bats were feeding on moths and flies that are still out. Tawny Owls were calling nearby and even sighted on the walk up the path.

Pine Marten tucking into food (Kate M)

Pine Martens begin to struggle with the cooler nights. With their slim bodies, and unlike the Badger that can store fat reserves, the Pine Marten need to continually forage for food throughout the Winter period. They also need to drop the amount of time they are active during the night to keep cosy in their dens and save energy. This means they become a little more unpredictable but obviously still need to find food with a couple of males visiting the hide this week.