Rare Polecat Sighting in my Patch!

I am pretty familiar with all the species that visit my garden and I have a selection that expect to see on a regular basis, which includes lots of birds and quite a few mammals too. That is what makes this latest visitor pretty special. I have captured footage of weasels in the garden and polecat and stoats in the fields nearby, but this is the first time I have filmed a polecat actually here in the garden!

This first clip was captured at 4.30pm.

It returned, briefly, a little later, once it was dark…

Polecats are mustelids; like the otter, weasel, stoat, pine marten, mink and badger.  I have only ever seen one once, in the flesh. I have often captured them on trail cam footage in the farmland around here. They are great hunters, feeding on rabbit and small mammals and often using rabbit warrens to spend the daylight hours . They often breed with ferrets, producing a hybrid, but this individual looks like a pure bred polecat. It has a very clear, distinctive mask and the coat has dark guard hairs, and you can see the pale undercoat.

I am hoping this individual will visit more regularly… I would love to film it again and I will be keeping a very close eye out on my cameras!!

 

This information PDF from Vincent Wildlife Trust is an excellent resource all about these rather secretive  mammals.

https://www.vwt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/polecat-leaflet.pdf