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Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009
A pine marten heads to the city
Pine marten, photo courtesy of Ken Bebbington
Pine martens are now a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act

Pine martens are found throughout the UK but are shy, nocturnal creatures normally found in the north of Scotland.

They were close to becoming extinct in Scotland at the end of the 19th Century but numbers are now on the rise due to protective legislation.

However sightings of the creature are still relatively rare, especially in urban areas.

The pine marten spotted at Holm Dell seems to be bucking that trend.

Growling noises

The Bebbingtons were rudely awoken from their slumbers at 0530 by loud growling noises from the garden. Ken Bebbington went out to investigate, thinking it was a trapped animal or fighting hedgehogs.

Pine marten, photo courtesy of Ken Bebbington
The pine marten enjoyed its scratching post

Luckily, Ken had the foresight to take his camera with him and captured the pine marten on film. The pine marten coolly scratched its back on the bamboo screen and scrambled around the trellis in the back garden.

Ken said: "The pine marten wasn't trapped - it was just enjoying itself, like Baloo in The Jungle Book."

The pine marten did not run off but carried on scratching its back and making a noise until Ken frightened it away.

This is the first time that the Bebbingtons have spotted a pine marten in the area.

Have you spotted any unusual wildlife in your area? Contact us

Your stories

Woodland crow, photo courtesy of Colin Benson
Woodland crows tend to steer clear of humans

Yvonne Martin contacted us to say that her husband often spots a pine marten on the towpath of the canal at Muirtown.

Irene Paterson says her friends in Sutherland have a pine marten feeding in their back garden.

Meanwhile Colin Benson sent in this photo of a woodland crow (a jay) feeding in Colin's garden.

Jean, who lives near Kyle of Lochalsh, sent in this close-up photo of a pine marten.

A pine marten feeds on an egg, photo courtesy of Jean
This pine marten is brave enough to hand feed

Pine martens visit Jean's house every night and, according to Jean, they can be fussy animals.

Jean said: "They won`t touch jam on bread at all, but feast on peanuts and a couple of raw eggs. They have been coming now for about 10 years here on the West Coast and will take an egg from my hand whilst my dog looks on."

Baby pine martens return to wild
25 Aug 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Elusive predator a city slicker
31 Jul 08 |  Highlands and Islands


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