Track in new snow - "stride length" about 22cms, each main print about 7cms across with long tapering tail
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The prints probably contain front and rear feet with the tail behind. This points to a rodent of some type. Big rat perhaps, they often hold their tails quite low.I have pet rats and if they dont want to walk on a surface they move in a way that would generate similar prints. Just an idea.
My estimate of stride length probably a bit iffy - done from photo afterwards, may have been longer.
We do have stoats and weasels around; in fact, I heard, then saw, a stoat take a rabbit yesterday about a half mile from where the tracks were - lots of rolling and squealing until a young labrador tried to join in and chased the (very cross) stoat around for a while until I managed to call her off (rabbit dead/stoat ok).
There is currently a debate about whether we have pine martens locally - we're all being asked to look out for signs (like road kill), but no conclusive evidence yet.
I'm going for stoat on this one. Thanks for comments.
I've gone with rat on this one because of the thin dragged tail mark, you would not expect to see this with stoat or weasels; the latter avoid walking in snow if they can help it, when deeper they prefer to burrow.
The length of 22" is at the longer end of a rat's bound but I still feel this is rat because of the tail mark.
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