Hillockhead Pine Marten

It is great visiting a location where there are species that you don’t get at home. At Hillockhead, there are some lovely pristine woodlands bordering Tim’s property and, when I went up last year, we set a series of trail cams and feeding stations and it was not long before pine marten started visiting.

This year, I was keen to get the trail cameras out again. Tim has had some feeders up in the woods, and some great trail cam footage of them using these feeders, but I wanted a nicer setting. There was an old, mossy stump nearby so I decided to use this. Popping a couple of eggs inside and some peanuts, it was just a matter of one evening, before they had found the food.

It seems to be the same individual visiting most of the time. His bib pattern is quite distinct, with three spots on one side. He has quite tatty ears as well….

 

I also set a camera on the ground. This time, I captured a couple of youngsters… and they were pretty playful!

I wish I had more time, as I would love to do some more projects with these great mustelids! We did attempt some DSLR camera trapping, but without success…. it’ll have to be saved for my next visit!

We also visited a nearby hide, run by James Roddie. He runs Black Isle Nature Photography. You can check out his Facebook page HERE.  You can read his newsletter about the Pine marten this year, HERE 

James has some amazing images from this hide, but sadly, the marten did not appear for us. We were at the very end of the season, when day visits are rarer. Here is one of James’ images as a taster of what we might have photographed a little earlier in the season!

Wildlife watching is never an exact science. These creatures are wild and you never know if they will show… that is what makes it so rewarding when they do!

We were lucky enough to have a red squirrel appear though and, in the heather, it looked beautiful!