To conclude this year’s Wildlife Watching Hide, let’s look back at 2019. If you have been following our weekly blogs, you will know all of the antics that have happened over this year and how the wildlife never fail to surprise us.
Our old wildlife hide (Kate M)
As we entered the busy season in early May, and breeding season for the wildlife, here at Speyside Wildlife we were shocked of the news that our evening hide had burned down overnight. Thankfully nobody or animals were harmed. With the efficient team, we were back up and running into a temporary location, not far from the old one, in a week where we have enjoyed viewing during the rest of this year.
Badger and Badger family (Kate M)
The wildlife was a little confused by the move but soon found our new location. With the first sightings of the Badgers in June, we observed two new Badger cubs to the clan, both females and enjoyed observing them growing up along with the other Badgers. One cub was much bigger than the other, but both had bundles of energy and peanut butter was a firm favourite snack for one. The old female that had been active at the beginning of the year had somehow disappeared, so we feared the worst. Much to our surprise, she returned in October after what I can only imagine was a much-needed holiday. With around six different Badgers over the course of the year, they have made each guest happy to see them up-close and their characters kept us entertained.
Female Pine Marten (Kate M)
Male Pine Marten (G.Fletcher)
Leaping Pine Marten (Kate M)
With the Pine Marten always a desired animal to see, they also didn’t disappoint. As the breeding season took hold, there was a big change in behaviour, with us seeing around a dozen different Pine Martens over the course of a couple of months. When things settled down in June a certain male Pine Marten claimed this territory as his own, so regular sightings were seen of him. He is a big male and very healthy with a shiny coat of fur. He became very friendly with a visiting female, with a second female often making appearances too. The Pine Martens kept us entertained with their sneaky ways to get to the feeding station, including jumping from the shed roof to avoid the Badgers!
Mouse hiding under the shed roof (Kate M)
We cannot forget the other evening mammals that can be seen from the hide. The Wood Mice and Bank Voles moved in underneath the shed, knowing that peanuts fell on their doorstep every evening. The Bats that came from underneath the shed roof to catch the dozens of midges attracted to the light. Although not often seen, Tawny owls and roding Woodcock in the lighter summer evenings were heard and Red and Roe Deer wander past grazing on the nearby hill.
Red Deer (Kate M)
We would like to thank each guest who has visited or is planning to come to our Wildlife Hide next year. Please keep an eye out on our social media pages, website or our blog for further updates and pictures of our wonderful wildlife. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!