Polecat – Mustela putorius
Having seen (and smelt) the road-kill specimen in close-up, I am more convinced that a creature that I have had brief glimpses of near my home is also a Polecat.
Initially I had 2 images on a trail camera on 13 May 2021. The following day I visited the site and had 2 sightings. These were mainly of the body and tail of the animal and I was unable to get a clear view of its face. The fur was various shades of brown and orange (not the bright chestnut of a stoat). Its posture and movement was more like that of an otter than a stoat. I have since obtained a few more photos, and a short video clip, from the trail camera but am still trying to get a definitive shot, especially of its face. Also, I have been aware of an occasional overpowering scent in the area. I was fairly sure it wasn’t that of a fox but couldn’t identify it further; now I think it was the same odour as that accompanying the road-kill specimen.
Clicking on any photo will show a larger version of the same image.
The animal is only visible in the first few frames so, when viewing it, it is more clearly seen if the clip is set on a loop to replay automatically. A single frame taken from the video clip is shown on the left.
All of the above were obtained during May 2021.
June 2021. More sightings from the trail camera.
On 12 Jun 2021, it was possible to make size comparisons against a squirrel. The squirrel has a favourite place just in front of the camera where it rolls around. The polecat was caught on camera in the same spot.
It seems quite a bit larger than the squirrel.