In yesterday’s post I described how I came across a polecat that had been killed on the road just outside our village. Polecats still being quite rare in these parts, I was quite pleased to have found one so close to home (obviously the circumstances were less than ideal from the polecat’s point of view). I ended by saying I’d like to see one some day.
Well, this morning I drove to the tip again (I told you it was a regular activity for me) and as I neared the spot where I found the dead polecat, a live one ran across the road in front of me. It paused to sniff at a parked car and then disappeared into the woods at the side of the road.
It was definitely a polecat, or at least it was definitely the same species as the one I examined yesterday. A beautiful, lithe, sinuous creature. If I was pleased to see a dead polecat, I was positively ecstatic to see a live one.
It goes to show that where there’s one animal from a species, there will be more. Fair enough, this was only a fleeting view, but it’s a start. The next stage will be to try and observe a polecat properly, and to get a photo or two if possible. Given my lack of success with finding and watching the polecat’s near relative, the stoat, this may be difficult. In theory, knowing the area where they live, the best thing would be to find a spot with plenty of rabbits (the main prey) and sooner or later I should be rewarded with decent polecat sighting.
And do you remember BBC Springwatch last year? Simon King (my hero!) had waited 46 years to see a polecat. With the finest camera equipment available (including multiple night vision cameras), a whole team of people and the pick of polecat hotspots to choose from, it still took them the best part of a week to get any good footage. Never mind. One of the good things about being a (very) amateur naturalist is that I’m in no hurry. I have no deadlines to meet, no live programmes to fill. It may take a while, but sooner or later I’ll get that picture of a polecat.