Found on a sandy area between Woodland and small ponds.
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Footprints are always a challenge and I love the detection we have to do to come to a conclusion (not always possible). These are good prints, but seem to lack the five toes expected of the stoat. Not quite sure how big they are. To me, they look dog like, with the four toe pads and the crescent shaped hind pad close behind - in the fox this pad is a bit further back. With tracks, looking at the sequence in front and behind the specimen can be fun, to try and tell if the animal was walking or running. Plaster casting of prints is also great fun and keeps them for future discussions.
Yes without a size I can see how you couldn't tell. At first it was thought to be mink because it was near freshwater, but the size wasn't right, and we contacted a few people and came to the conclusion it was a Stoat.
Can you measure the prints, without a scale it is very difficult to identify these. It is probably a mustelid, could be weasel, stoat, ferret or mink. The fifth toe could be missing if the animal was bounding.
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Sorry team - it just looks too canine - it appears to be quite soft mud so I would expect the fifty digit to show. Are we talking size of a 50p or bigger? Also, that rear pad so close to the front digits.... hmmm. A real detective challenge this one...
I've uploaded another picture with a knife for scale. I don't have it unfortunately, but the blade is 84mm so i'd put the knife in the picture at about 95/100mm, and the prints at about 20mm across.
I also have a picture of the animals prints. Judging from the distance apart, I can't imagine it's from a dog.
Even though they could be wrong, someone good with tracks saw them in person, and we sent the photo off to another and Stoat was agreed.
I can't do anything else with these as I'm not at the location anymore.
Your new prints are the clearest yet. See them for continued discussion and why I'm happy these are stoat.
Thanks for this detective puzzle!
Lat/Lng: 57.059883, -2.429432
OS grid ref: NO740966