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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

Autumn at the Wildlife Hide

The season is coming to and end now, with the night’s drawing in and clocks changing at the weekend. After a warm Summer, the Autumn colours in the area haven’t been as vibrant as they can usually be but still filled the countryside with a mix of orange/ yellow tones that are pleasing to the eye.

The Wildlife certainly haven’t slowed down yet, with Autumn being the most important feeding season for the mammals. Pine Martens and Badgers are both part of the mustelid family of mammals, and although neither hibernate in the Winter months, they do need to keep their body weight up in order to survive.

Pine Marten at the Hide (KateM)

The diet of the Pine Martens in Autumn consists of about eighty percent of fruits compared to one percent in Winter/Spring. This is not surprising as the woodland floor is flooded with wild berries, cherries, apples etc making it a food haven for them. Later in Autumn and through Winter small rodents such as wood mice and field voles become their main diet, mainly due to availability of them. Guests were treated to a young male Pine Marten at the hide as he pounced into the undergrowth and ran off with his dinner of mouse that night. Other Martens also tried to catch their dinner by sliding underneath the rocks where they live in hope of catching one. The Badgers have also been filling up, and though they don’t hibernate, they go more docile and sleepier so need to feed up and the cubs increase their body mass in order to survive their first Winter.

Barn Owl (Braddocks)

Barn Owl (Braddocks)

At Halloween, a ghostly figure appeared outside the front of the Hide, with a white flying figure spotted on the camera screen. A look out the window confirmed a Barn owl, flying past a few times with its paleappearance and large eyes gazing at us in search of food. Not notably seen atthe hide before due to the environment the hide is in, but it was certainly alovely sighting to have had.

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