The action has kept going at Speyside Wildlife’s Evening Wildlife Watching Hide over the winter. The Badgers are still coming, enjoying the bait laid out for them and the two cubs from last year are looking much more mature, especially with their thick winter coats. Their tails hang straight down, whereas in the adults the angle is gentler.
The Wood Mice have cheekily been stealing any leftover peanuts but the most exciting news comes from the Pine Martens - the male and female have both been coming in and although a recent film crew were unsuccessful on their first night, they came back the next night and saw our Pine Martens – watch our social media next week for more information about when you can watch them on TV. It was the first Pine Marten that some of the crew had ever seen!
On a previous night both the male and female Pine Martens came together and to my even greater astonishment both came down and landed on the ground! It was especially surprising to see the female do this, since she is the warier one. No Badgers appeared when they were doing this thankfully - if they had, they would have fled. I have known a Pine Marten elsewhere with its tail missing because a Badger had taken it off, so their fear of Badgers is well founded. Indeed, within Britain today, there is nothing except man that is a threat to Badgers. Other animals including Foxes and even Wildcats are wary.
With regards to larger animals that they share their range with in Europe, as a group they can stand up to bear, wolf, lynx and Wolverine. They have immensely strong jaws; I’ve seen one of the cubs bite into the arm of a wooden log and take a chunk from it.!
Their black and white faces are considered by some to be a form of aposematism. Aposematism is the use of bright colours and/or patterns to appear threatening to predators. Their bold markings are believed to make predators stop and think about whether it’s safe to attack it. That few seconds interval can then easily be used by the Badger to escape.
If you would like your chance to see our nocturnal visitors click here and book your place today.