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
entries are not always entered in date order
so please check for changes by clicking on 'What's
new' on the home page.
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.
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
resting while watching the others searching for
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
male Capreolus capreolus
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.
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 or the wildlife disappointed us. There was
a constant stream of birds at the bird feeders as
well as several Red Squirrels.
Buzzards were often overhead and a Crossbill was
spotted in the Scot's Pine across the clearing.
Male Siskin Carduelis
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.
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.
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
One of the
younger Pine Martens visiting the back door.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 they still managed to squabble.
When it was
all over the dog-fox went back under the apple tree
to clean himself up.
went off for a drink in the pond.