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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

Leaping Pine Martens at the Wildlife Hide

The evening wildlife hide has been very busy with animals, including the usual Wood Mice, Bats and Owls flying by. Summer is coming to an end and nights getting darker, the mammals are continuing to be entertaining with regular sightings.

Female Pine Marten leaping from the shed roof to the feeding table (Kate M)

As previously mentioned, the Pine Martens have been finding other ways of coming in for food when the Badgers are in. Jumping from the roof a few nights last week, guests have been entertained by their antics. The female has been taking this two-metre leap of faith onto the table from the shed roof, overshooting it one night as she flies off the other end. For getting around in the wild, a Pine Martens tail and long limbs are perfect for balancing and projecting themselves from trees and walls to find food and run from danger. This is not a behaviour often witnessed from a wild Pine Marten due to them being so secretive, so guests have been enjoying this sight. Although the female has tried to show the male Pine Marten how it is done, he has taken to climbing down the wall instead. The Pine Marten is the only mustelid that, like a squirrel, can turn their back feet 180 degrees as they descend a tree (or wall) using their claws to grip as they reach the ground headfirst.

Badger family feeding along side a Pine Marten (Kate M)

The Badgers are continuing to arrive for food, getting much earlier as the cloud cover makes it dark quicker. As always, they have kept us entertained with their personalities, interactions between each other and their hatred of the Scottish midges! Even with their thick fur, the midges still manage to annoy the Badgers, as they scratch and jump around trying to avoid these tiny insects. One tactic they use it to roll over or run into a nearby bush, before returning for the food! A second young Badger has also been coming in, often hard to tell apart from the adults now that they are much older.

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