At our Evening Mammal Hide near Aviemore, the Badgers are still coming regularly to feed and delight our visitors at every turn. There’s still no sign of this year’s cubs, they’re late in coming this year - it was 26 June that they appeared last year, but there’s still time for them to put in an appearance.
Most Badgers get on well with each other, with plenty of allomarking to be done. This is where one individual sprays another with an oily substance from a gland under their tails, to remind them that that individual is one of them. If they stopped doing it, they would stop recognising each other. During one recent evening, there was one feeding and another came in to join the feast, as soon as they saw each other something wasn’t right. Sometimes when a Badger has had a negative history with another they'll flee in response to their arrival - not this time. These two stared at one another, sometimes they’ll do this momentarily and then continue feeding when they don’t see the other individual as a threat. These two stared at each other for over five minutes - I’d never seen any stare at each other for that long. It was clear they were sizing each other up and as suspected they started to argue, deciding to take their fight outside the platform and into the woodlands!
Our weather had been unpredictable in the last few weeks, but the male Pine Marten has still settled on the platform to feed whilst the rain pattered through the trees. Although we don’t see Pine Marten every night at the hide, we do have a camera trap monitoring 24 hours a day and the footage has shown them arriving later in the evenings after our guests have left.
At quieter times in the hide, Woodpigeons have been seen gulping down sultanas when there’s nothing else attending them, as have Blackbirds, Wood Mice and Bank Voles.
One new bird that took us by surprise when seen in the treetops behind the platform were some Eurasian Jays. They were shy and didn’t show for long, but it was the first time I’d seen them during an evening. When the camera trap footage was examined, I was surprised to find that Jays had been feeding on the platform at around five o’clock in the morning - that was something I hadn’t expected.
If you would like your chance to see our nocturnal visitors click here and book your place today.