Wildlife Trail Camera
A Wildlife trail camera can be a helpful aid to locate Pine Martens. 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. Often you can tell from the type food taken if Pine Martens have been on the feed.
In the wild, Pine Martens 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. They are one of the few creatures, in Scotland, that can carry an egg off leaving no trace of presence. Capturing this on a trail camera is great confirmation of their presence. Do however be aware that some Dogs also possess this skill. Additionally other wildlife will take eggs. For example Foxes and even crows.
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
Battered by storms on a trip to the Western Isles. While traveling home the weather was beginning to settle. So we decided this would be a good opportunity to try out the Trail Camera. This was 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 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!