As snow still falls here in the Cairngorms, we cannot help but think about spring days when we can hopefully welcome you back to the wildlife hide. Although wildlife is quiet, changes are happening in their behaviour and lives as they prepare their homes for new family members in the spring. Underground, Badgers will be preparing their sett chambers soon with new bedding and female Pine Martens will be looking for natal dens. Daylight hours have been notably increased over the past few weeks with over an hour’s difference from the end of the year.
The Badgers have still been active, even on the coldest nights when fresh snow has been falling. There haven’t been many tracks to follow because of snow early in the morning covering them up, but it was nice to see a couple of the Badgers from inside the hide one evening. The older female has been enjoying an early snack with the grown cubs from last year also joining her. Against the white snow, the Badgers have looked dusty, perhaps form clearing the chalky earth in their sett.
As Pine Martens do not hibernate, they are always active in the Winter, even if daylight hours mean you do not often see them. Evidence of them at the wildlife hide however mean we know that they are still visiting. Often the cameras will miss them, but the shaking of branches and missing food is evidence of their appearance. Like many other mammals, they will be finding the snow cover hard for finding food spending a lot of time in their dens.
We will continue to monitor and keep you updated about the evening mammals from our wildlife hide on our blog, and you can visit Speyside Wildlife to find out more and keep up to date.