Has the Yew View Polecat taken up residency?

The camera footage this week at Yew View suggests that our polecat has chosen this area as its territory as I captured quite a lot of footage of it around the badger sett this week. Polecats will often use old rabbit warrens or setts as a den and our badgers are infrequent visitors to the sett at the moment.

I had set a Bushnell near the entrance this week, as well as having the wired camera there and managed to capture a couple of nice clips of this individual… (ignore the 2016 date stamp… my mistake when setting!)screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-21-19-12 screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-21-10-20 screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-21-00-43

Over a 2 day period, it was in and out of the artificial sett. These clips show it spending quite a lot of time around the entrance, rolling, digging and rubbing itself on the ground nearby. I am presuming this is scent marking.  On some of the wired camera shots, you can see the Bushnell triggering and boosting the IR!

This clip shows it near the 2nd sett entrance. These two entrances are linked underground by 2 chambers.

I am keen to try to create a den space for this polecat, with a camera inside. I have decided to adapt a partly made hedgehog box I had to try to create a space that they might choose to sleep in during the day. I plan on putting this up near these badger sett entrances and part burying it and covering it with old logs to try to recreate the kind of natural space they may choose to shelter in. I lined the box with some old timber we had on site….

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I then mounted a high re nest box camera in the top corner, plugged it in and checked the image. There will be no lights in here so the image will be black & white , using the cameras IR LEDs. I plan on running a tunnel into the box to mimic a burrow entrance.

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I then treated the outside of the box, to protect it and left to to dry until next week. It is worth a try and it would be great if we could get some close-up footage of it visiting. I will set a Bushnell outside as well.

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The Bushnell I was using this week is the E2 Essential. I have not used this model before. It is a 12v version of the  Aggressor with a basic functionality. The added voltage should improve the power of the IR at night and it has received some very good reviews, particularly for the speed it captures stills. I have set it on stills this week and will show the results in next week’s blog. This is a very reasonably priced little trail cam that seems to be delivering really good quality!

Here are a couple of other day time videos captured this week in this location… select to watch them in HD.

The pheasants have been making lots of appearances this last week. They take advantage, along with the rats, of all the seed dropped on the floor at the feeding stations.

A male and female kingfisher have been seen on the post this week. Not many fishing capture successes recorded, but this lovely preening sequence was worth uploading. With the landscape so monotone now, these beauties look even more vibrant!

Very few visits from our Tawnies, sadly. Usually by now, they are appearing more frequently in the boxes. They have not yet discovered my tawny stump, but the squirrel had a fun leaping and twirling session in there this week!

Let’s hope we get some more polecat footage this coming week. I am excited by having this special mustelid take up residence here!