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 Tawny Owls and bats are increasingly active.
Often in the quieter moments in the hide, the Woodmice and Voles will keep visitors amused. They will scurry across the ground in search of food scraps to eat later. Small mammals like mice are easy prey for larger mammals like the Badgers and Pine Marten, so quick retrieval of food is necessary. One evening we watched a Wood Mouse and Vole having a fight over a peanut which provided quite entertaining.
The behaviour of the Badger clan (Family) has been changing as we go through the season, so observing this from the hide is fascinating. Some of these behaviours include their love to climb and dig. Their long front claws are used to dig their setts and for food come in handy for finding food and the logs we have, provide them with a personal gym! As we are in late summer, we are beginning to see mating behaviours as the male’s groom females coats and fights between other males occur.
The smallest Badger cub that was born late in the season is doing well. This small but feisty female is in most nights, getting a good amount of food and is becoming more confident. Whilst feeding alongside the main male of the sett she tried to follow him down a steep step, before realising how far down the drop was. It was highly entraining to watch as she attempted to pluck up the courage to jump before deciding the take the long but safer way down.
It is great to watch these different behaviours and see how they change over the months. If you would like a chance to visit our hide over the coming few weeks, check our website for availability.