Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Pine Marten, Kindrogan, June 2013

I had never really considered that good daytime views of Pine Marten were a possibility, but I was lucky enough to experience them this week. I was on a work trip to Kindrogan Field Studies Centre in Perthshire, and had already enjoyed some evening views of a Marten coming to peanuts at around 9pm. This was exciting enough and the views in the dusky simmer dim were the best that I assumed I would get.

Not so the following afternoon when I was tipped off that cat-like noises had been coming from the scrub and Pine Marten was considered a possibility. When I followed this up I could hear noises that sounded like aggressive calls coming from one of the spruce plantations. I went in and found two Pine Martens leaping around in the upper branches of the tall trees. Looking like dark oversized squirrels they could move nimbly along surprisingly thin branches and would occasionally make a leap from one branch to that of a neighbouring tree.

They did not seem to be overly concerned about my presence far below at ground level and I enjoyed over 30 minutes of entertainment. After securing a couple of record shots I returned to the centre and after a coffee with colleagues we headed back to the site. Despite the odds the Pine Martens were still there and showed well moving from tree to tree, up and down trunks and even close by on the ground very briefly. Despite this I managed no decent photographs other than those shown here - the habitat, light levels and animals movements all combined to make photography difficult - not that I am bothered!...

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Amazing experience! I thought they only came out in the dark too - and only for jam, eggs, and peanut butter.
P.S. I realise I am in no position to give photography advice, but (excitement apart) getting used to quickly setting exposure compensation is a great trick (works well for dark birds against a bright sky too).