Stake-out

Polecats are broadly spread around the UK. Their numbers are very low and one would have to be fortunate indeed to catch a sighting…

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A couple of weeks ago while chatting with my neighbour he mentioned that one of his friends was convinced she’d seen two polecats near the footpath which runs into the woods at the back of our houses.  So we agreed that I’d set up my wildlife camera in his field near to the footpath to see if we could capture one on video.

I set up my stake-out with some peanut butter on sticks placed in front of the camera.  If there were any polecats passing nearby, the smell should tempt them to investigate.

The first animal on the scene was a squirrel who promptly wasted no time cleaning up the free meal.

After dark a pair of fox cubs passed through and licked the remaining peanut butter off the sticks.

Later that night, the camera recorded a muntjac doe.  The deer must have caught my scent because although it couldn’t see the camera in the dark it spent some moments checking it out.

Unfortunately, after leaving the camera in place for several days there were no polecats captured on video.  I was not surprised because although a recent survey has shown that polecats are broadly spread around the UK, their numbers are very low and one would have to be fortunate indeed to catch a sighting.  In most cases, the highest proportion of recordings have been of dead animals on the roads.  Having said that, I am not deterred and shall re-site the camera in another part of the field to see if that might be more fruitful.  In any case, the exercise has been worthwhile because the wildlife captured has been great to see.

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