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.
The smallest mammal, the Wood Mouse has been keeping guests entertained with their speed to gather peanuts from the ground. Hiding between wooden posts, they make sure it is safe from watching eyes of prey before scurrying out. Although a Badger would eat a wood mouse, they are too distracted by the other food by their feet. One evening the mice froze still, and soon after a Pine Marten came in through the trees. The mice could hear prey coming before we could even see it.
We have been lucky to have a few more visits from a female Pine Marten. Other berries have not been of interest to it, only the sultanas we put out. To avoid the Badgers below on the ground, the Martens use the shelter of the trees and high wooden platform to enjoy the feast. It is great to watch their natural behaviour and how they use the branches like an obstacle course to find the best way to the food. The female marten has also been trying to hunt out the Wood Mice for herself.
The Badgers are beginning to come in individually as they forage widely for worms and other insects before the winter arrives. The two remaining Badger cubs, both males, are almost fully grown and now bigger than their mother. Male Badgers have immense strength to dig and move objects in their way and the cubs are gaining this strength by the week. Digging up the ground and tipping over logs to reach food. The female Badger, with the limp still enjoys her peanut butter treat, showing off its pink coloured nose as it finds the sticky treat on the trees.
Find out more about the evening wildlife watching hide and see availability for November.