Pine Marten Trail Camera
On our trips round Scotland we often look for signs of Pine Marten. The first and most obvious indication of Pine Martens being present in the area is usually their distinguished black scats.
In areas showing strong evidence of our little furry friends we may put down tempting treats to attract and confirm a local presence. You can often tell from the type, rather than quantity, of food taken if Pinemarten have been on the feed.
Pine Marten, even in the wild, are opportunists and will take a variety of foods including berries, cheese, jam and nuts. Unfortunately most of these foods will also be taken by a variety of small mammals and birds, but if you add eggs into the mix you have a helpful aid to confirm if Martes Martes has been on the feed. Pine Marten are one of the few creatures, in Scotland, that can carry an egg off leaving no trace of presence. Do however be aware that some Dogs also possess this skill.
We have build up a list of good locations to find Pine Marten, but of course sightings are not guaranteed. Often our little friends will visit in the early hours or when it is so dark that they are almost impossible to see. The sudden introduction of light into areas normally devoid of background lighting is usually not successful and tends to interfere with results.
The Pine Marten trail camera.
On a trip to the Western Isles in May/June we had been fairly battered by storms. During our travel home the weather was beginning to settle so we decided this would be a good opportunity to try out the new Trail Camera, a Browning BTC-5HD. Our first stop would be Glen Torridon where we knew a couple of reliable sites to try out the Pinemarten trail camera.
We set up the trail camera and watched for a while as the light started to fade. Just before last light a small Pine Marten could be seen peering out from under nearby vegetation. We watched as the young Pine Marten browsed before running off with a slice of cheese. To avoid risk of disturbance we withdrew leaving the Pine Marten trail camera to keep watch.
The pictures below from the trail cam show a young Pine Martens typically careful approach.
Being the first time we had tried the Pine Marten Trail Camera we were pleased with the result. Two nights and a Pinemarten on both. The quality of the images was better than expected given conditions. There was however one more surprise. We still had to check the rest of the images and after browsing through the shots of the nights Pine Marten we discovered we had captured this ……. well surprise!
More information and images of Pine Marten can be found here.