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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

August is Here

At the Speyside Wildlife Evening Mammal Hide in the Cairngorms, the action has kept going. The Badgers have kept coming, even before I have a chance to put the food out some nights. Several times now they arrive before me, have a sniff around and then leave when they realise the food isn’t out yet.

There are 4 Badgers in this picture feeding amongst the logs and leaf litter of the platform of the hide.
Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
A Badger is standing against a tree trunk on its hind legs about to lick some peanut butter off the tree trunk
Badger Standing against a tree feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

They still feed quite happily with each other. Standing up on their hind legs to reach the bait on the tree trunks. When they do this it’s a good opportunity to see their claws, they have five on each foot with the front claws having the longest. Their top claws are shorter than the others and can be likened to thumbs.

There is a Badger cub looking towards the right of the image in a rigid posture, as if it has heard something and is frightened by it.
A Badger Cub looking alert (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

The Badgers have grown a lot this year and some of them look almost unrecognisable compared to when I first knew them. The cubs are still causing mischief and they get plenty of telling-offs by the adults whenever they barge in when they’re not supposed to.

There have been plenty of sightings of Wood Mice and Bank Voles and Red Squirrels sometimes appear. A Woodpigeon has taken to sitting on the platform and eating the sultanas meant for the Pine Marten. The field below has been getting Roe Deer grazing in it too.

There is a Roe Deer in a grassy field seen through a wall of leaves and branches looking to its side for danger.
Roe Deer in a field (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
There is a Woodpigeon sat on the stump of the hide's platform looking to its right in a rigid posture with its neck raised.
Woodpigeon sitting on a stump (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

The Pine Marten has visited a few times in the last week - firstly the female came, which was a surprise because she hasn’t been seen for a while. She came in from the overhead branches and stopped short of going onto the platform. For some reason she didn’t want to come out into the open and the last time I’d seen this was when the male had been on the platform previously, leaving behind his scent. To our chagrin the female Pine Marten left without feeding but treated us to decent views of it in the treetops.

There is a Pine Marten feeding on the platform looking to its right. It has a stash of peanuts in front of its claws.
Pine Marten feeding on the platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
There is a Pine Marten on the hide platform, zoomed out so that you can see the whole platform, some of the trees and logs linking to the platform.
Pine Marten on the platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

The male Pine Marten has also been visiting and has been feeding on the platform, amazing all the guests that got to see it. When it’s that close you can see its five claws, the furry rims of its ears and its sharp keen eyes. When one of the Badger cubs clambered onto the back logs of the platform, its clumsy footwork kept the Pine Marten looking at it anxiously but otherwise it stayed put.

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