Mammals at Mingarry
Red Squirrels and Pine Martens: Mingarry Lodges affords excellent opportunities for observing native red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) up close. Both adults and juveniles are regularly seen feeding around the lodges both on the ground and in the treetops.
Similarly, pine martens (Martes martes) live and breed in the in the woods behind the lodges, providing a great opportunity to observe the behavioural dynamics of these rare, charismatic, nocturnal mustelids. Unlike other mustelids, such as badgers, pine marten have retractable claws that support an arboreal lifestyle, although they are frequently seen on the ground at Mingarry Lodges. Pine marten have been subject to much persecution in the past, but are now legally protected being a schedule 5 listed species. Sadly persecution still occurs in the Highlands so please help us to protect them.
Other musteilds found in the area include weasel and stoat, although these are much less common sightings. The elusive Scottish wild cat and hybrids are sometimes caught on our camera traps. Currently there are a number of projects in the Ardnamurcahn area concerned with breeding and providing safe haven for this critically endangered Scottish species.
Other mammals: Pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus), one of our smallest species of bats, are regularly seen feeding on the wing on warm summer evenings; there are several natal roosts in the grounds of the Old Chapel House. Other species of bat recorded in the local area include Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri).
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) the largest and most impressive native deer species roam freely in the open hills and moorland behind the lodges; the roar of males in the rutting season in autumn is a sound not to be missed. The much smaller, native roe deer have also been seen in the woodlands behind the lodges. Other mammals reported on site include wood mouse, bank vole, field vole and common shrew.
Moidart, Ardnamurchan and Beyond
The Ardnamurchan area is arguable one of the best places for mammal watching in Britain, in addition to the mammals seen at Mingarry Lodges, look out for wild cat, otter, fallow deer, badger, fox, stoat, water vole, rabbit and hedgehog, as well as grey seal and common seal. Wild boar has also been reported in the area. As well as common and soprano pipistrelle and natterer’s bat, other bats recorded in the Ardnamurchan area include noctule and Daubenton. In addition, the surrounding waters support harbour porpoise, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, risso’s dolphin, minke whale and orca.