Travel Notes

As we travel widely during the summer looking for insects to photograph, Roger Edmondson and I have decided to put a record of our more interesting finds on this website. New entries are not always entered in date order so please check for changes by clicking on 'What's new' on  the home page.

30th June 2021

We found that the Pine Martens Martes martes were easily attracted to the garden by scattering peanuts on the lawn. They usually arrived at about 9.30 pm in the evening and again between 5.30 am and 6.30am. 

Later in the week we had a warm evening when the sky was clear and they arrived nearer 9.00pm which meant there was more light. I was particularly pleased that one of them came and sat on the doorstep to have a good scratch with its hind foot. This distracted it for long enough for me to get a decent picture.

Pine Marten Martes martes Copyright Martin Evans

Pine Marten resting while watching the others searching for peanuts.

Pine Marten Martes martes Copyright Martin Evans

Pine Marten having a good scratch.

The Red Squirrels and the Pine Martens were not the only mammals present. Carolyn and I saw several small bats flying around the clearing and we twice saw a Hedgehog wandering around on the lawn during the night.

At 5.30am one morning I looked out of the kitchen window to see a Roe Deer feeding in the longer grass of the clearing. Although the light was low I was still able to use my 300mm telephoto to get a couple of reasonable pictures.

Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus    Copyright Martin Evans

Roe Deer male Capreolus capreolus

27th June 2021

After both having had our two covid vaccinations my partner Carolyn and I were able to visit Scotland for a holiday, at first to visit her sister and our friends in Aberdeenshire and then for a second week in Perthshire where we rented a house in a clearing in birch woodland near Tummel Bridge. From the garden there was a view of Schiehallion which is 3,547 ft (1,083 m) high.

The location was chosen for the usual reasons. This was so that I could moth trap and photograph the wildlife, and so that Carolyn could paint the landscape.

Neither the landscape or the wildlife disappointed us. There was a constant stream of birds at the bird feeders as well as several Red Squirrels.

Also Buzzards were often overhead and a Crossbill was spotted in the Scot's Pine across the clearing.

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris    Copyright Martin Evans

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

Siskin Carduelis spinus Copyright Martin Evans

Male Siskin Carduelis spinus

On our second evening we saw our most exciting visitors which were a female Pine Marten  Martes martes and her two near full grown kittens. It appears that previous visitors to the cottage had enticed them with chicken eggs as we had found them on the grass just outside of the garden fence. These had disappeared when the Pine Martens had left.

Unfortunately they are difficult to photograph as they arrive at dusk when the light is low and they move fast. Trying to get pictures with a fast shutter speed in low light is difficult, but on the third evening I did manage to get a couple of useable photos.

The young one in the lower picture actually came within about a metre of my feet as I sat in the conservatory with the door open getting bitten to death by midges. Luckily I had put my 60mm macro lens on the camera instead of the telephoto that I had used the night before, as otherwise it would have been too close.

Pine Marten Martes martes Copyright Martin Evans

Pine Marten Martes martes

Pine Marten Martes martes Copyright Martin Evans

One of the younger Pine Martens visiting the back door.

12th May 2021

After they mated at the end of January the vixen never appeared in the garden again, at least not in daylight.

The dog fox Vulpes vulpes was present on most sunny mornings sleeping in the open by the pond, or on top of the compost heap in the sunshine.

It only woke occasionally for a yawn or to check out any strange noises in the neighbouring gardens

By early May the neighbours were using their gardens on a regular basis and the fox slept in more hidden locations until finally it was disturbed so often that it stopped visiting the garden at all.


31st January 2021

It has been nearly two years since this site has been updated. This is because all of my time was taken up on working on another website on british moths. This is now going well as I have used the time during the Covid 19 lockdowns to write the text as well as add more pictures, maps and lifecycle tables. I believe that the site will be up to date and ready to put up by about this time next year.

Restricted travelling due to the coronavirus has also meant that there has been little to add to this site, especially as I have only trapped for moths in my garden.

This morning was an exception as when my partner Carolyn and I were looking out of the bedroom window we noticed movement behind some sedge at the edge of the pond at the bottom of the garden. I took some pictures, but unfortunately the quality through the window glass was poor.

Behind the sedge  Copyright Martin Evans

I then decided to risk opening the window, hoping that this would not disturb a pair of mating Red Fox Vulpes vulpes that had come into view. I also hoped that the neighbours would not be thinking that it was them on which  I had trained my telephoto lens.

Mating foxes   Copyright Martin Evans


Mating foxes   Copyright Martin Evans

Even while mating they still managed to squabble.

Mating foxes squabblling   Copyright Martin Evans

When it was all over the dog-fox went back under the apple tree to clean himself up.

Dog-fox cleaning   Copyright Martin Evans

The vixen went off for a drink in the pond.

Vixen   Copyright Martin Evans





            Click or tap for other Travel Notes