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Reading with great interest the Nature Notes in the Whistler we feel it might be interesting to record an unusual sighting we made on Saturday 16th November 2013 at about mid-day (so in broad daylight).

We noticed movement outside in our garden, initially in the undergrowth, but then in the clear on a concrete path of an animal which we could not identify. Too small (and wrong markings) for a badger and too big (with wrong markings) for a weasel or stoat.

By sheer coincidence we had received a copy of the magazine from Wild Cornwall that morning and it contained a photo. of a dead polecat so it quickly clarified our minds that it must be polecat ?

The article did suggest that those better informed than us are trying to establish whether there are now polecats in this area or could they be escaped ferrets ? It seems they are descended from same origins and do interbreed in the wild.

In my youth I did a little rabbit hunting using ferrets, nets etc. but I recall them much lighter in colour and have no recollection of the colour banding on their bodies and faces so we are reasonably convinced we might well have polecats in the area

However, in the countryside around here there will almost certainly be others with much more knowledge so have there been any other sightings or has anyone lost a dark brown coloured ferret ? I just hope it clears my garden of all those pesky rabbits.

If you find any dead ones it seems that there are people out there who would like to have the body so they can carry out tests. Keep your eyes peeled.

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