In 2008 we noticed that our bird table was being 'cleared' overnight. On further investigation we found that a pine marten was visiting the table. We have a male and female that visit regularly, but the female is the most frequent visitor and has visited most days ever since.
We cannot guarantee that one will visit during your stay (nor guarantee that you will still be up!) but there is a good chance that you may have an opportunity to view this rarely seen creature during your stay.
We have experimented with various foods and so far have found that they like:honey, peanut butter, pine nuts, grapes, raisins, flapjacks and most muffins, but they don't seem to like walnuts, soft fruits e.g. strawberries or raspberries (unless they can pick them fresh from the strawberry plants in the garden!). They will not eat bread unless it has honey on it!
Some guests have also entered into the spirit and left items out : we still do not know if they licked the marmite off the twiglets, but they didn't eat the whole twiglet!
Most years the female has had kits which she brings into the garden. Here is a photo of her with her two sons lined up on the wall waiting for the food to be put out. Last year she didn't have kits (but she is getting quite old now for a pine marten!)
In the summer months the female can often be seen at the end of the path hopeful that there is food on the table!
The pine martens grow a beautiful thick coat during the winter (to keep them warm through the cold months. In early spring they start to lose their winter coat and the darker summer coat starts to appear - but for a while this can look a bit odd - looking almost like a panda for a while!
The BBC Springwatch team visited the area in May 2011 primarily to film the beavers in Knapdale, but they also took a trip to Dunchraigaig House to film the Pine Marten. Despite a wild storm raging, they still managed to get some good footage of her and Charlie Hamilton James was very excited to see her in the garden.
Charlie Hamilton James presented the item
The real star of the show!
In 2012 Ray Mears was in Argyll filming an episode for his series 'Wild Britain'. Having heard about the Dunchraigaig Pine Marten, the team visited and pleased with their footage , Ray himself popped in hoping to get a glimpse of one. The pine marten didn't play ball that night - but the team had enough footage that they were happy with and so out pine marten made another appearance on STV/ ITV in 2013