I have a fascination with stoats. They are cute, lethal, little predators. Last Saturday I drove the long way home from the library in town, along the little country lanes rather than the main road. I’m glad I did, because I came across a stoat on the roadside verge. It was dancing around in true stoat style, and I got a good, if brief view as I passed. This was a couple of miles away from my house, but it shows that stoats are active in the area.
This morning, my wife came across a dead stoat at the end of our road – another road casualty. Being a good wife, she took a picture on her phone and showed it to me (we obviously share an unhealthy interest in roadkill…) and it was definitely a stoat, right down to the black tip on its tail. Weasels lack this black tip.
It’s a shame, as this is the second stoat killed on the road in this spot that I know about. On the plus side, it does mean that we have a population in the area. Despite wandering around here regularly on my Sunday walks I have yet to come across a stoat in it’s natural habitat. This has to be a definite goal for this year – to find and observe a stoat – even if it means sitting out all day. Sooner or later I’ll spot one.