Yet another new species!
We accidentally ran over a weasel today with a quad bike on the track below Tula’s Wood. We have never seen a weasel on the farm before. Because we have reduced the grazing pressure on all the north banks, there is a lot more rough grass and this is thick underneath so that voles can live without exposing themselves to avian predators. Although it is common to see 30+ red kites and buzzards soaring on these slopes, they are not impacting the voles much, so there is a food source available for small mammalian predators like weasels. This weasel has quite a few ticks on its head, which we wrote about in a previous blog. Although ticks are normal, they can be a sign that the animal is not doing too well.
We have not seen a stoat on the farm either. The only one we have recorded was one caught down by where the log cabin now is, about 20 years ago. A Harris Hawk that was being exercised in the field plonked down on it. Stoat numbers fluctuate with rabbit densities, and this year we have quite a good scattering of rabbits on the farm, so quite likely some stoats will be active. Usually the flush of young rabbits that we have now will be reduced back to baseline by September. Now you see them. Now you don’t.