2 very similar scat (3-4cm long) within 1ft of each other. On a snowy path c 100m from the Ythan Estaury.
No interactions present.
There appears to be a fair amount of fur (rabbit, I'd guess), which, given the size, suggests mink or fox. The estuarine location maybe says "mink", although foxes know all about wading birds, too.
I would agree as mink scats are pointed at the end,if you can bring yourself to collect them in future and you get a sense of the smell,wash through a old fine sieve and examine the tiny bones,fur ect which help's pin down the animal and prey.I have a excellent old book Mammals of Britain,their tracks,trails and signs by M.J Lawrence and R.W.Brown it has all the stuff you need in it.
I'm not so sure that it is mink. You have to be wary of identifying on appearance alone, as that is affected considerably by content. Most of our native carnivores will consume small mammals, so potentially it could be fox, otter or polecat. The latest research on mink scat ID has indicated that identification based on appearance alone is very unreliable.
As said above smell really helps, as mink is much more acrid that Fox or otter. But other than undertaking genetic analysis the best way to be sure is to ID hairs in the scat. There are usually some from grooming that can be used to identify the culprit.
I would go with fox, they most often have a 'tail' of fur like these. Any print near by?
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Lat/Lng: 57.31, -1.995
OS grid ref: NK003243
on snowy path c 100m from estuary, nearby vegetation long grass and gorse bushes. North east coast of Scotland. Wondering whether mink, otter, ferret?