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polaris

Identify My Burglar

Last night has promoted us to get the traps out, we had reports from a neighbour about a pine marten about a month back, never heard anything else until last night. Out to pick up old scruffy cabbages from the local shop for the rabbits and we spot a pair of bright orange eyes, reasonably close range, close to the ground bouncing down the hill. Perform highly illegal U-turn, swing back around in time to catch a grey agouti side flash down into the ditch. Now, too big for mink, but not "red" enough for pine marten..... Would martens be showing a greyer coat this time of year by any chance? Chances of being an escaped ferret are almost zero, it's forty years since anyone within 50 miles kept ferrets.
Gareth

Possibly a European Polecat.

I have seen only 3 in the wild in my entire 52 years on this world. The first as a boy in the summer of 1976 in a mature (WW1) Oak and Elm plantation between Ab Kettleby and Welby near Melton Mowbray, the second time in the summer of 1998 at Old Warren Wood just outside Bury St Edmunds, and the third time on a beautiful sunny October Autumn Saturday morning in 2007 on a grassy bank next to the main A10 just north of Southery here in Norfolk.

All three European Polecats I have seen have been more grey than red, and considerably larger the Ferrets and Polecat crosses I have handled.

On an aside note, a fishing friend of mine; Big Trevor, ran over a Pine Marten on a trip up to Lochness about 13 or 14 years ago when he and another friend were after Ferrox Trout.....and the two of them even whipped up some home made flies from the deceased Pine Marten.
bodger

Gareth, all the polecats that I've seen and living where we do, I've seen lots, have been more or less black.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/European_Polecat
Gareth

Dad lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, and on his Friday afternoon walk down to the pub he occasionally sees a black and red polecat on the edge of a very large and dense stand of Hazel, which is a adjacent to an open meadow with at least two major warrens in it.

I think there may be a reasonable amount of naturally occurring colour variations in Polecats across the country due to the surrounding environments..... here in the East the arable area landscape can be an almost miserable grey from the late autumn and through the winter months. Interestingly enough the Otters I've seen on the Rivers Yare, Waveney, and the Great Ouse have got a lot of grey in them, but the ones on the rivers; Bure, Thurn, Ant and Wensum have got the more usual brown colouring.
sod

Just keep them there we don't have them just weasel,stotes, and ferrets they are bad enough as all are wild and kill on sight  
polaris

Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.
Gareth

polaris wrote:
Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.


Did you pull the teeth to make jewellery?  


First thing Lois does when I say shall we go off to the beach to do some Seal watching is make sure I haven't got any pliers in my pockets.
Rena

Gareth wrote:
polaris wrote:
Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.


Did you pull the teeth to make jewellery?


First thing Lois does when I say shall we go off to the beach to do some Seal watching is make sure I haven't got any pliers in my pockets.


I'm with Lois on this......ew. ( )

So glad he is no more, Polaris.
polaris

Gareth wrote:
polaris wrote:
Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.


Did you pull the teeth to make jewellery?


First thing Lois does when I say shall we go off to the beach to do some Seal watching is make sure I haven't got any pliers in my pockets.


Can honestly say I didn't think of that but I did momentarily consider pulling over to pick up to salvage the pelt. Was a little too smooshed on closer inspection though and though best to leave for crows.
polaris

Rena wrote:
Gareth wrote:
polaris wrote:
Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.


Did you pull the teeth to make jewellery?


First thing Lois does when I say shall we go off to the beach to do some Seal watching is make sure I haven't got any pliers in my pockets.


I'm with Lois on this......ew. ( )

So glad he is no more, Polaris.


Us too   he's been all I could think about the last few nights! Worrying after the chickens and the rabbits like a mother hen
Rena

polaris wrote:
Rena wrote:
Gareth wrote:
polaris wrote:
Coming home from work... Pine marten squished across road he had lighter flanks than I'm used to, and HUGE teeth. Bigger than normal too.


Did you pull the teeth to make jewellery?


First thing Lois does when I say shall we go off to the beach to do some Seal watching is make sure I haven't got any pliers in my pockets.


I'm with Lois on this......ew. ( )

So glad he is no more, Polaris.


Us too he's been all I could think about the last few nights! Worrying after the chickens and the rabbits like a mother hen


I know the feeling. I woke up to something rattling our garden gate one morning. (The very garden that my mostly blind 'Blindie' the Brahma pullet resided in...). When I looked out my window to see a smaller skunk.... very upset at having forgotten from whence he entered. He did get out eventually. Blindie was safe and sound....but skunkie is still at large.....
polaris

Rena wrote:

I know the feeling. I woke up to something rattling our garden gate one morning. (The very garden that my mostly blind 'Blindie' the Brahma pullet resided in...). When I looked out my window to see a smaller skunk.... very upset at having forgotten from whence he entered. He did get out eventually. Blindie was safe and sound....but skunkie is still at large.....


Hi rena, over here skunks are kept and bred as exotic pets. In the region of 400-1000 each to buy.  
sod

Think Rena may have one for free if you like to go collect Down here they are banned
Rena

sod wrote:
Think Rena may have one for free if you like to go collect Down here they are banned


Thanks sod! I seriously needed that laugh!!!!!

Polaris, I most certainly DO have a free skunk for you! Only catch is you have a travel oh maybe bout 5000 miles to get it

Skunks and raccoons are as good at harassing our small animal livestock as your Martins!!
polaris

Nearly a year to the day and guess what..... Another Marten. -.- brutally destroyed neighbours guinea pigs   and took one of our hens! Only to bring half of it back five days later stinking on the garden path!

Spotlight - Check
Elaborate array of traps - Check
Shotgun - Oh no wait that's illegal  

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