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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

Multitudinous Happenings

The Speyside Wildlife Evening Hide in the Cairngorms National Park will probably always be one of our timeless classics. The Badgers have been coming in every day, feeding, squabbling, though most of the time getting on fine with each other. The microphone and speakers capture every sound they make during their visits, delighting our guests. The crack and crunch as they devour the peanuts always puts a smile on everybody’s faces.

The cubs could be brought along any day now, it’s supposed to be around June when this happens, if they have had cubs, but no sign has been seen yet.

There are two Badgers feeding between the wall of the platform and a tree in the left of the picture. One of the Badgers is half concealed by the tree. The Badger at the back is facing almost to the front with the other Badger side on
Badgers Feeding (Harris Brooker)

Two Badgers are feeding together with their heads down. The Badger in the background is a younger individual with a fresh black and white face. The one in the foreground has its back toward the camera. There is a tree trunk jutting out from the left and the wooden wall of the platform around the Badgers
Close up image of two Badgers feeding (Harris Brooker)

The Pine Martens have come less often in the past fortnight, this could be due to having kits or simply the abundance of food at this time of year. They have been approaching along the path normally used by the Badgers and also coming into the platforms and feeding quite happily, amazing everyone who witnesses them. When finished they bound away across the logs and down the two Lawson’s Cypresses.

There is a Pine Marten feeding on a platform, with only the top of the platform visible. The Pine Marten is facing toward the camera. There are some branches in the top right of the background.
Pine Marten Feeding on Platform (Harris Brooker)

The Wood Mice and Bank Voles have been out and about as usual. Though it’s been noticed that although they live close to one another, they don’t always get on. A Wood Mouse was seen flying right at a Bank Vole when it got too near. They both dash furtively to grab the peanuts and they go scurrying right back into the tightest crevices at the first sign of danger. Some of them really push their luck. One Wood Mouse was seen feeding right next to a Badger stood on its hind legs licking peanut butter from the tree - but it got away safely.

There is a Bank Vole sitting in the middle of the picture with its face toward the camera, sat on top of a large spruce cone, surrounded by other large cones, twigs and logs.
Bank Vole in the open (Harris Brooker)

There is a Wood Mouse in the top middle of the picture bent slightly side on. There is a log wall in the background, with spruce cones, a green plant and spruce needle leaf litter lying around. The mouse itself is in a slightly flatter area.
Wood Mouse in the open (Harris Brooker)

Other wildlife has abounded too, during the day Blue Tits have been seen feeding their yellow faced youngsters, that quiver and spread their wings when they beg their parents to feed them. There are Coal Tits, Great Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers - two of them being males that squabble occasionally, Siskins, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, Robins and Dunnocks. At quieter times of the day, Roe Deer and for the first time a Red Deer hind was seen in the wet field below the hide. Moths have been a feature too and Brimstone Moth, Lunar Thorn and Elephant Hawkmoth were seen too.

There is a There is a Woodpigeon sat on the platform in the middle of the picture, only the top part of the platform is visible. The pigeon is next to a tree stump on the right growing out of the platform. There is green leaves and branches in the background.
Woodpigeon sat on the platform (Harris Brooker)

There is an adult Blue Tit feeding a yellower faced juvenile Blue Tit on an elevated branch, which is zoomed in heavily in in this image to reveal only a small section of it. The adult Blue Tit is facing toward the camera and the juvenile is side on begging its parent for food.
Adult Blue Tit feeding its youngster (Harris Brooker)

Dominating the centre of the picture is a moth called a Lunar Thorn. It is a reddish, orangey brown moth with a white patch on its wings. Only the right wing is visible in the picture. The Lunar Thorn is presented side on.
Lunar Thorn moth against the hide window (Harris Brooker)

There is a yellow moth with brown markings on the top of its upper wings and this moth is called a Brimstone Moth. It is in the top centre part of the picture sitting on the outside of the hide window.
Brimstone Moth against hide window (Harris Brooker)

Let there be more nights like this and if you wish to join me in the hide this summer, you can book online and for more information here.

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