At the Speyside Wildlife Evening Hide in the Cairngorms our evenings are busier than ever. The hide is full on more days than I can count. The Badgers are coming in daylight, munching away at the peanuts and peanut butter laid out for them. They go about their business, unconcerned at anything. They might raise their heads to listen for another of their group approaching, but apart from that they don’t pause much from devouring everything they can.
There are still birds to see. Chaffinches, Blue Tits, Robins, Great Tits, Siskins, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Woodpigeons - in their case we got to see an adult feeding an immature with some awkwardness. There was a Spotted Flycatcher, something I’d never seen come to the feeders. It didn’t feed on them exactly, it looked as though it might have been sallying forth to catch insects, as flycatchers do. There was also a male Blackcap one night, another first.
There are Wood Mice and Bank Voles to see. Scurrying furtively for peanuts they can grab to devour in the safety of their log crevices. They are very good at avoiding being eaten, I’ve only ever seen a Badger catch one once. The Wood Mouse in question had run across its path, unwisely. The Wood Mice and Bank Voles here are quite familiar with the risks they must take and they have well rehearsed escape responses.
The Pine Marten has been more sporadic in its visits. It’s been the male that’s been coming these past weeks. He likes to sit in his usual spot on the platform, munching away on the sultanas that are given to him and him only.
If you would like to visit us and have your chance to see our nocturnal mammals visit our website at: http://bit.ly/sw_EWW