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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

Brave Pine Martens at the Wildlife Hide

With summer holiday’s continuing, the wildlife hide has been busy, with a noticeable difference to the daylight getting shorter. Even though the wildlife has been getting annoyed with the Scottish midges, the unsettled weather luckily hasn’t put them off and there has been plenty of action to keep guests entertained.

Pine Marten and Badger feeding together (Kate M)

The Pine Martens have continued to be active with a pair seen regularly. Recently the Pine Marten have come before the Badgers arrive at darkness, in hope to avoid crossing paths with the. They don’t mind the Badgers, but sometimes they just want peace to eat their food. The female Pine Marten often sits on top of a fence post to get a better look at the Badgers before going in for food, often jumping onto the roof of the hide. Last week, she went onto the shed roof and leaped almost 2 metres onto the feeding table just to avoid the Badgers. One evening she braved becoming friends with a Badger and happily fed beside it on the ground.

Pine Marten Scatt on path (Kate M)

Another sign of the Pine Martens activity around the hide, is the scatt that is often left on the path. Scatts (or poo) is a great indication of the Pine Martens presence and is a keyway that organisations like The Vincent Trust can survey a key area of interest to find a Pine Marten population. Nicknamed as ‘sweet martens,’ Pine Marten scatt often smells very sweet due to the high number of wild fruits in their diet. They often mark their territories by leaving scatt in the middle of paths, so if you’re out for a walk in areas with Pine Martens, look out for scatt and even brave a sniff.

Badger enjoying their food (Kate M)

Now that the evenings are getting darker earlier the Badgers are appearing slightly earlier than they did a month ago, with often three or four attending each evening. They don’t leave any peanuts uneaten and the mice often must grab as many as they can before they all disappear.

If you would like a chance to come and watch the mammals at our wildlife hide, check our website for availability.

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