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  • Writer's pictureHarris Brooker

The Days are Getting Longer in Speyside

At our Evening Mammal Watching Hide near Aviemore, the days are getting longer and we are starting later in the evening. We have had up to nine Badgers in an evening over the last few weeks and we would expect this year’s cubs to be born around now. They still feed together peacefully at the hide, though the odd squabble still breaks out from time to time. Now and then they’ll allo-mark and allo-groom one another.

There is a Badger in this image that is feeding on peanut butter spread on a rotting log and is on a platform surrounded by logs and leaf litter.
Badger (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

There are three Badgers in this image feeding on peanuts on a large platform surrounded by logs and leaf litter
Three Badgers Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

Our Woodmice still visit the hide and they have been taking bold risks to grab peanuts when the Badgers are absent – always entertaining guests.

The two Pine Martens have been coming in. The female showed up the other night when the Badgers had gone, but during her time on the platform that night there was a Wood Mouse poking its nose out.

I’m no expert on the emotions of mice but I could tell from how still it was, that it was petrified beyond belief. That’s because mice and voles are the mainstay diet of the Pine Marten and for that reason I have rarely seen a Wood Mouse and a Pine Marten visible at the same time.

There is a Pine Marten in this image on a platform feeding on peanuts that is surrounded by log bridges and trees
Pine Marten (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

There is a Pine Marten in this zoomed in image feeding on a small platform with a tree stump and some branches in the background.
Pine Marten Feeding (Photo Credit: Harris Brooker)

When the Wood Mouse did come out, it shot away to another crack in the log wall at the back of the platform. It did this at a faster speed than I’ve ever seen it do normally and I couldn’t blame it!

Our guests have been in awe of our animals over the past weeks and with summer on its way, many more will share in the delights of seeing our nocturnal visitors here at our hide. We recently featured on the BBC One Show and you can watch the episode on iPlayer here and you can see just how amazed Mike Dilgers son was during his visit! If you would like your chance to see our nocturnal visitors click here and book your place today.

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