Saturday, June 26, 2010


We're off to Canterbury for the weekend. I haven't got time to comment, but here are a few images from the last few days.

Last night I joined several other members of the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire Bat Groups to survey an area straddling the county. The main objective was to count the bats emerging from a Brown Long-eared Bat maternity roost that has recently been discovered. They emerged intermittently, but our final count of 54 bats surprised and excited everyone! The presence of a lot of Barbastelle activity was another unexpected surprise. On the way, I found a hybrid Polecat corpse on the side of the road...driving home just before midnight I encountered a Red Fox in exactly the same place, presumably investigating the corpse too, or else eating it!


  1. Hi Steve

    Very interesting to read about your polecat. Can I ask where you saw it? I came across one at the weekend too and since we're not a million miles away from each other it may be the same one. If you don't want to make it public then you're welcome to drop me a line at

    I don't know if mine was a hybrid or a 'pure' polecat - I don't have a lot of experience with them - so I'm keen to find out more.

    Thanks and all the best


  2. Hi there - great to hear from you!

    It wasn't a million miles away from your area - on the road from Steppingley towards Woburn. Driving from Steppingley it was on the left-hand side of the road a little way before the M1 at about TL004347.

    Richard's the real expert with these, but I reckoned this was a hybrid-type when looking at the amount of white on the face above and beyond the normal amount. I wish I'd have taken a photo, though, to compare at home with corpses I've found in the past.

    It's going to be a real challenge to see a live one of these this year, though I reckon I've found a brilliant spot to stake out today - a little bridge under a major road with loads of mammal tracks in the mud...a project for when we get back from our Nice holiday next week!!

    Hope you're well,


  3. Aha! That's where my polecat was - my polecat was also your polecat! It seems that the poor beast couldn't even rest in peace without being examined by successive naturalists.

    I contacted Richard about it (I took some pictures) and his verdict was definitely polecat. Apparently the Bedfordshire polecat strain is quite pure.

    What is better news is that I was driving past the same spot on Sunday morning when another polecat ran across the road. I'd never seen a polecat before and then I see two in two days (albeit one of them deceased and one a fleeting sighting).

    I'd rather not tempt fate, but it seems as if there is a reasonable chance of getting a proper sighting in our local patch. Let's hope so!

    All the best


  4. Brilliant...I'll readjust my sighting to just 'Polecat'! I did find a Polecat near Bedford a little while ago that Richard confirmed as 'hybrid' passing it on I also presented him with a lot of ticks! I have friends in Houghton Conquest who lost one of their white was found and returned after a week or two and, a month or two later, gave birth to several Polecat hybrids! :-)
    It was alongside Kingshoe Wood that we saw the Roe Deer - the general area is brilliant for mammals as you're finding out!
    Best wishes,