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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

January Evening Mammal Watching in the Cairngorms

The action has kept going at Speyside Wildlife’s Evening Wildlife Watching Hide.

January might be a quieter time of year for visitors, but the Badgers are still visiting with enthusiasm, as are the Wood Mice and Pine Martens. Recently when I was baiting the hide, the female Pine Marten decided to arrive at the same time! I am used to this happening with the Badgers but for the Pine Marten this was the first time, so I quietly retreated inside to let her feed.

The male Pine Marten came in one night not from his usual angle - normally I would expect him to come up from below a pair of Lawson’s Cypresses and walk along the log bridge to the platform. On this occasion however, he came from below the edge of the big platform where the Badgers feed and made his way over to the little platform. Then he crossed over the log bridge to another small platform which is rarely used and went up to the bird feeders and quite unusually came down onto the ground - normally the Pine Martens avoid doing this because that is where the Badgers feed and they are wary of them. It finally went over the edge of the platform and disappeared.

This image is of a single Badger feeding. It is facing its front and is underneath the branch of a log. There is a birch log lying in front of it.
A Badger (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

There are three Badgers in this image on a platform surrounded by logs and needle leaf litter. There are log bridges spanning the image, a log wall at the back as well as two tree trunks there too.
Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

It has been snowing vigorously too. Badgers are generally less active in the winter time, they sleep more and spend more time indoors. But the Badgers seem to cope fine with the cold otherwise.

There are two Badgers in this image. They are on the right hand side through a hide window, showing them in relation to a framed photograph and two speakers occupying the centre left part of the picture. There is snow outside.
Badgers from the Hide (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

There are three Badgers in this image taken through a hide window. They are on a platform surrounded by logs. There is snow lying on the ground. There are tree branches in the background.
Three Badgers from the Hide (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

There are two Badgers feeding in this image taken through a hide window with two speakers and a framed photograph further to the left. One of the Badgers is standing up against a tree trunk licking peanut butter. There is snow on the ground and it's snowing heavily.
Two Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

One Badger made a growling noise that the speakers picked up that I'd never heard before, like a sputtering engine, which the Badger used to argue with another one of its family members. They also scared away the Pine Marten.

This is a zoomed out image of a male Pine Marten feeding on sultanas and peanuts on a raised platform. There are trees and branches to the Pine Marten's right, left and behind. Below the Pine Marten is part of the main platform with logs and spruce needle leaf litter on it.
Male Pine Marten Feeding in Relation to Platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

This is a zoomed out image of a male Pine Marten on a platform suspended above the ground connected by log bridges to some trees on the left of the image. The platform is covered in snow feeding on peanuts and sultanas laid out for it. There are branches behind the Pine Marten.
Male Pine Marten Feeding on Platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

If you would like your chance to see our nocturnal visitors click here and book your place today.

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