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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

Autumn Activity and News from the Wildlife Hide

The nights are getting darker and there is a cool nip in the air, leaves are scattering on the ground and signs of autumn are all around.

Red Deer stag rutting (David Braddock)

As the meeting time changes to keep up with the Badgers feeding patterns, we are hearing the final bird songs of the evening before it gets dark. October is a busy month for many animals and one very vocal one that we now hear every evening is the Red Deer. Red Deer stags ‘rut’ in the autumn in preparation for breeding, bellowing loudly to claim territories and attract females. Their loud roaring can be heard on a calm evening echoing from different directions. There have also been Common Pipistrelle bats continuing to fly above the trees and Tawny Owls heard calling from nearby woods.

Hungry Badger! (Kate M)

The Badgers are still very hungry and continuing to come in regularly. As mentioned in the previous blog, it is important for them to get as much food intake this month in preparation for winter. The first snowfall in the mountains has arrived and it is feeling cool down in the strath too. The Badgers winter coats are coming in to keep them warm and they are looking big and healthy.

Female cub back in June with Mum (Kate M)

However, October is a time when Badgers will increasingly move around to forage and this can result in road casualties. Since June we have been watching and following the smallest female cub that was born late in the season as she grew and became very regular to the hide. Unfortunately, she was found nearby on the road verge, so the Badger clan is reducded to six individuals.

Male Pine Marten (Kate M)

More positively, we have had some lovely sightings of a couple of Pine Martens during the past fortnight, coming in close to the viewing windows. At least one is a male, whilst the other looks quite young and adventurous. Pine Martens don’t often like coming close to Badgers, but the high branches leading to the feeding platforms mean they can come in safely. It is fantastic to see these sleek animals so close and they too are growing their winter coats, making them look fluffy and healthy for the winter ahead.

If you would like a chance to see any of the evening wildlife we can expect at this time of year, please check our website for more details.

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