Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beadlow Manor

Q. What's the difference between a stoat and weasel?
A. A Weasel is weasily wecognised and a stoat is stoataly different!

In practice, though, it’s not quite as straightforward! I often get asked about the difference between a Stoat and a Weasel. This is a Stoat that I found dead alongside the A507 between the Beadlow Manor Golf Course and Sandy Smith Nature Reserve:
The black tip to the relatively long tail is obvious here, and I find it the most reliable character when confronted by a small Stoat or Weasel suddenly running across the road in front of me.

And this photo demonstrates why. This is a dead Weasel from Maxine's garden. It's appreciably smaller than an adult Stoat, but that's not easy to tell from the photo, and the same is often true of Weasels seen in the countryside, where the sighting can be agonisingly brief. Look at the tail, though. You can see how the presence of the Stoat’s thick, black-tipped, tail is a giveaway compared to the small thin tail of the Weasel.

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