The Autumn storms have passed over and the nights are drawing darker at the wildlife hide. Since opening in July we have watched the wildlife and their behaviours as we start to enter the winter months. Our guests have had the pleasure of enjoying these sightings and getting to know the animals too.
We welcome many guests into the hide, from members of the public to wildlife groups who are exploring this part of the Scottish Highlands for a week. One special guest who has joined a few groups over the past month has been naturalist, author and tv presenter Mike Dilger. Maybe you have seen him presenting wildlife segments on the BBC’s One show or read one of his books. It was a pleasure to share the wildlife with himself and the wildlife groups he was guiding. They were lucky to watch our Badger clan, the Wood Mice and even prolonged sightings of a Pine Marten.
As we head into November the activity level of the Badgers has become more erratic and feeding less at the hide. After feeding and foraging a lot in the Autumn to build up fat reserves for the winter ahead, perhaps they were full up! The ground has been damp, allowing them to forage nearby for worms and insects that make up much of their diet. With the irresistible smell of peanuts however, they have been visiting early in the evening for guests to watch.
It has been great to still be seeing Pine Marten coming in most nights, as they feel the chill in the air as winter approaches. One female Pine Marten has been visiting, with a unique bib marking used as a tool to identify her. She is not too keen on the Badgers presence, even if they are nowhere near her, often finding ways to avoid them before feeding. A quick hop and jump onto the hide roof one evening, where she stayed for ten minutes, walking back and forth until the badgers left and she was happy to feed.
If you are able to visit us in the Cairngorms, visit our website on details on how to book a night at the hide, and follow us on Facebook where we hope to keep you updated with live evenings of wildlife watching.