I’ve always assumed that it is the same beech marten visiting the garden but looking back through the videos and photos perhaps this is actually not the case. I’ve seen that sometimes the marten has a bushy tip to its tail and sometimes not. The serious of photos taken from the visits in June and August illustrate this.
I have read that the beech marten tail can change during the summer to become less bushy, therefore there could be seasonal variations. However during June the visits alternated between a bushy tailed individual and the straight tailed marten. So it clearly seems to be at least two different animals.
A second conclusion from this first set of data is that the timing of the visits to the garden seem to be quite regular with a lot of visit between 04:30-05:30. I also need more data to confirm, but the straight tailed individual would seem to be visiting the garden regularly at the same time with every recorded visit around 05:00. However there are many visits were I have been unable to identify the type of tail tip.
So it looks like at least 2 different individuals visiting at quite regular times.
Date : 31/08/20
Time : 05:05
Description : Taking a drink from the water dish by the base of the fir tree. Departure through the hedgehog fence hole into the neighbours garden.
Date : 26/08/20
Time : 05:13
Description : Taking a drink from the water dish by the base of the fir tree. No information on the direction of arrival or departure.
Date : 08/08/20
Time : 02:34
Description : Several weeks since the last sighting a new sighting. This time the beech marten arrives on the opposite side of the garden to the fir tree, heading from the house towards the back of the garden. This first footage was filmed on one of the two active garden cameras.
The second shot, taken on the second camera, was pointed towards the fir tree where the majority of the beech marten action has been recorded. The footage shows the beech marten leaving the garden and clearly using the hole in the fence used by the hedgehogs.
This second segment is logged several minutes after the first however I think this is just an error on the 2 cameras, the times are not perfectly synchronised.
The two recordings are quite brief and don’t offer a really good view. So apart from verifying the visit there is now much more that can be interpreted.
Date : 29/06/20
Time : 04:39
Description : Filmed at the foot of the fir tree. Potentially leaving the garden through the hedgehog hole which is not visible on the camera.
Date : 24/06/20
Time : 05:01
Description : Filmed at the foot of the fir tree during a week when we have had very hot weather, temperatures up to 35oC, the marten came in for a drink from the water dish. This was the only video or image recorded so a very fleeting visit, certainly compared with 3rd June. The marten seems to arrive from the direction of the house and also to go back the same way. In this case it didn’t enter of leave via the hole in the fence used by the hedgehogs.
Date : 03/06/20
Time : 03:30
Description : Filmed at the foot of the fir tree investigating the water and food left out. I had been leaving out a jam sandwich hoping to attract the marten. The day before it was eaten by the hedgehogs. Today it was also largely eaten by the hedgehogs but there was enough left to attract the marten. This was the most complete footage I’ve taken of the marten. It stayed on and off for around 30 minutes.
I even got footage of it climbing up the fir tree.
Date : 01/06/20
Time : 04:55
Description : Video taken near the fir tree, the marten is seen walking out of the garden exiting into the neighbours garden via the large hole behind the habitat pile.
Date : 25/04/20
Time : 05:19
Description : The beech marten found the great tit nest box, just after the chicks had hatched and were still present on the nest. Probably attracted by the smell it came to investigate but couldn’t get into the box. Interestingly the box is very close, only a couple of metres from the house.
Date : 11/11/19
Time : 05:18
Description : Around the fir tree.
Date : 15/10/19
Time : 06:59
Description : Investigating the food left on the patio for the hedgehog. Entering the shot from the rear of the garden, beneath the table.
Date : 10/10/19
Time : 22:56
Description : Exiting the garden in the fruit tree corner.
Date : 10/08/19
Time : 05:41
Description : Around the fir tree.
Date : 17/04/19
Time : 02:06
Description : Crossing the patio heading towards the fir tree.
Date : 05/02/19
Time : 02:10
Description : Investigating the water left on the patio area. It seemed to enter from the fruit tree corner and exit on the fir tree corner.