Sunday, 24 January 2010


My suspicion that our garden is full of wildlife isn't just fuelled by the fact that dogs woof so much in the night and we had loads of interesting footprints in the snow!
Yesterday my husband and I saw a gorgeous little creature running around the edge of the pond, this photo looks just like it. It's either a stoat or a weasel, we didn't get a chance to see the tip of its tail as we were some distance away.

 I've never seen one before and I have to say it was very cute and I will be very annoyed if Oscar or Tess eat it.

It was very much smaller than a ferret, which we have had in the garden before.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if there are any regional differences but round here weasels are tiny (6-8" long) and stoats, although not as large as a ferret much bigger. Fantastic to see them but just be a bit careful, Pedro received a very nasty bite on his face when he distrubed a stoat in the long grass.

Kind Regards


In the pink said...

Scientific name: Mustela nivalis
Widespread throughout Britain, weasels are our smallest and probably most numerous carnivores. An adult male weasel is less than 24cm from nose to tail-tip, females are even smaller.

Weasels are sometimes confused with their close relative, the stoat. Stoats are larger, up to 30cm, and have a longer tail with a distinctive black tip.

They are found in a wide range of habitats, which include urban areas, lowland pasture and woodland, marshes and moors.

Weasels hunt small rodents and their numbers depend on the abundance of their prey.

Weasels have to eat one third of their body weight every 24 hours.

The weasel’s small size enables it to search through tunnels of mice and voles, which means it can hunt at any time of the day or year.

They do not hibernate and can hunt even under deep snow.

Dens are usually nests of former prey. In cold climates the nests are lined with fur from prey.

Only one litter, of 4-6 young, is born per season.

Only one in 80-90 weasels survives to over two years old. They are small enough to be prey for predators like hawks, owls, foxes, cats and mink.

Anonymous said...

beware you not done for hunting with dogs if they do catch a whiff of it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw a litter of young weasels playing with an empty tin in the lane once. Watched them for about five minutes - God, they were soooo cute!

Great pic - looks like he's posing for you!


chunkleberry said...

Found a weasel baby a couple of years ago, I thought it was dead it was so cold. I put it inside my coat in my hand and after a while felt it move. My instinct was to put it back on the path but there were a bunch of Border Collies coming along and it wouldn't have stood a chance it was still at the head bobbing, crawling stage.
I took it home and rang a wildlife rescue and on their information managed to raise it for another month and then took it to where I knew it could get water and released it with a roadkill in a dry stone wall. I hope it made it. I have a good few photos but guess I can't post them here.

Anonymous said...

I didn't take the photo by the way! It's a stock shot of a stoat!