jpelling's picture

Polecats in south Buckinghamshire?

Observed: 21st June 2011 By: jpelling
Description:

Two young? mustelids very briefly seen crossing ahead while driving down a hillside road not far from the Thames mid morning. Piercing alarm cry at being nearly run over. Not ferrets. Didn't look like stoat, undersides did not appear white. So polecats perhaps?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

the naturalist man's picture

Mustelid

Welcome to iSpot.

Unfortunately it is impossible to say what you saw based on the information given. It is very unlikely to be polecat, however, as you are on the very edge of their known distribution. All the small mustelids have a high, piercing call.

Why are you discounting ferret? If you browse iSpot you'll see it is almost impossible to tell ferret and polecat apart even when you have a dead body to examine. Also they readily hybridise. Have you considered mink?

Can you remember how they moved? or colouration? or anything else that may give a clue?

Sorry not to be much help.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

PeteDiggens's picture

mustelid

could be young mink if near a water source?

but could well be escaped ferrets, do you know anyone who keeps them localy ?

sorry i am not much help

Pete Diggens

rjbuxton's picture

Dead Polecat/ferret between Aylesbury and Kimble

I did see, a couple of years ago, outside the Ladymead school a polecat/ferret corpse. For a hybrid to occur, would it not need a ferret and polecat to be present or are many of the domesticated/escaped animals also hybrids?

the naturalist man's picture

Hybrid polecat/ferret

Hard to answer this one as we refer to hybrids but it is a little more complex than that. Ferrets are tame polecats which generally breed true to a form which is slightly different to the wild polecat. Therefore, 'hybrids' could be as we think of a hybrid, one of each parent. Alternatively it is possible some are throwbacks to the original polecat ancester.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411