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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

Midsummer is Here

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

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.

Three Badgers are feeding together on a platform surrounded by logs, nettles and leaf litter
Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
Three Badgers are feeding together on a platform surrounded by logs and leaf litter
Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

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!

Two Badgers are feeding next to each other with a tree to their left
Two Badgers Together (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

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.

There is a Male Pine Marten on a platform feeding
Male Pine Marten (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
There is a Male Pine Marten feeding on a platform, zoomed out so that part of the log bridges and leafy branches nearby are visible
Male Pine Marten Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
There is a Male Pine Marten feeding on a platform. The image is zoomed out so that the log bridges and tree branches can be seen.
Male Pine Marten on Platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

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.

There is a Woodpigeon to the left of a platform and a Badger looking across to it from the right of the image
Woodpigeon with a Badger (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

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.

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