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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

September's Unexpected Twist

The action has kept going at our Evening Wildlife Watching Hide - but there’s been some unexpected twists lately. Towards the end of September on two nights in a row, we’ve had two Pine Martens coming at the same time, which is unusual in our adults.

There are two Pine Martens on this platform. The male is on the left and the female is on the right. The male is a third larger than the female, and the female is smaller and slimmer. She has her tail draped over the side of the platform. The platform has an edge made of Scot's Pine bark, and has needles and cones on it. There is also a tree stump behind the male Pine Marten. There is also a branch coming out of two tree trunks and some leaves and branches in the background. Part of the log bridge to the platform is visible on the front left hand side of the image. Part of the red painted window frame of the hide is also visible on the right of the image.
Both Male and Female Pine Marten Together (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

It was astonishing to see the two Pine Martens who normally avoid each other, feeding together peacefully. Earlier on in the year, the female Pine Marten came most often and then as the summer progressed, that trend reversed. What I also noticed at that time was that when the male had been there, the female seemed to react to his scent and hide in the branches and not show herself properly. This may have been because she had kits somewhere and if that male had found the kits he would have killed them if they weren’t his.

There are two Pine Martens in this image. The male is on the left and is slightly larger and has his nose facing downwards. The female on the right is smaller and slimmer and is looking across the way. She has her tail draped over the side of the platform edge. The platform has an edge made of Scot's Pine bark, the platform has needles and cones, a tree stump and a branch, part of a tree trunk and some leaves and branches in the background
Male and Female Pine Marten feeding together on the platform (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

As she was comfortable with the male, it would mean that if she had any young then they'd likely have moved on. It takes about six months for Pine Marten kits to become independent. Then she would be ready to mate again. On the first night of their recent appearance, it was the female that came first and then the male followed. They mated and then fed together. The second night they only fed together and the male left before the female did, which given the female’s more nervous nature was a surprise. Seeing them together like this gave guests the opportunity to compare them side by side and appreciate the larger size of the male against the female.

There are two Badgers feeding together in this image. One is on the left and facing toward the camera with its nose to the ground and the other is showing its back to the camera also with its nose to the ground. There is also a pine stump to the left of the image in front of the left hand Badger and a part of a larger log in the background. Two tree stumps are just visible at the very back of the picture. They are standing on a bed of bark, needles and cones.
Two Badgers feeding together (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)
There is a Badger in this image facing to its right and licking peanut butter from a rotting log. Almost the whole of the Badger is in the frame and in the background there is a part of a log and some leaf litter with spruce needles and cones.
Badger licking peanut butter from a log (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

The Badgers have been coming in every night as usual. The cubs are now almost as large as some of the adults. They are much better behaved than when I first knew them, but even so, they still squabble for food, especially the stash of peanuts I put under one of the logs in front of the hide. There are also still Wood Mice and Bank Voles to be seen scurrying around. Tawny Owls have been heard from the hide and one night the hissing of a Barn Owl.

If you would like your chance to see our nocturnal visitors head to our website for more information and book your place today.

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