Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beech Marten

Yesterday evening I set the Trailcam out close to the Thouaret River north of Boussais. I baited the area with a tin of cat food (turkey-flavoured!), apple and peanuts:
I had held high hopes of this spot, so I was a bit disappointed this morning when the food looked like it hadn't been touched all night. However, on examining the memory card, I discovered that I had a couple of sequences of a Beech Marten and one of the ubiquitous Brown Rat:

The Beech Marten is very wary of the infra-red beam from the camera but does have a nibble of the food. The two sequences are actually 3 hours apart. In the actual footage the Brown Rat - which I've placed at the end - was present between the visits of the Beech Marten.

Beech Martens are widespread in France and often den in buildings: attics and the like. They are more popularly known as Stone Martens, but I prefer Beech Marten as a name, distinguishing them from the Pine Marten which, as the name suggests, is usually associated with more coniferous woodland. That's not always the case in France.

The animals are similar but this is definitely a Beech Marten with its less bushy tail, smaller ears and - more obviously here compared with the brief footage from the rear view a few days ago - the pale patch on the breast continues down each leg. I've only had a brief view of a Beech Marten in the past whilst driving through the countryside in the middle of the night, so it's nice to get some half-decent footage on the Trailcam!

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