Having registered to ask a one off question, I've kept this place on my Bookmarks. Now, like the little banner I'm seeing says; 'Why not?'. Only, as my main concerns right now are casual recording for Bird Track and I've also just been invited to join the BTO NRS (despite being in Eire) most of my stuff centres around nests and pretty mundane records of what I see around me.
However, I'm also a Pest Controller by trade. Thus I get to see the odd thing of interest to others. I thought perhaps a close up look at a Pine Marten may do? This is one I cage trapped, here in Co. Leitrim, Eire.
Pine Martens were introduced here, I think, some time around the 70's? Someone must have figured they'd do alright in the Sitka Spruce plantations being set up then. No one could have figured just how well they'd do! We now have them thick on the ground, right from Sligo, through Leitrim and Roscommon. And that's only the places I've heard about in passing.
They don't read the right books either. I've actually never yet set foot in a pine forest. But I've inadvertantly trapped five Pineys since last summer. I've seen a further two, in as many weeks, whilst out and about. Far from confining themselves to the dark forests, they run the ditches which criss cross every acre of this land.
Obviously, I release them unharmed. I kept hold of this one for a short hour, just to show some neighbouring farmers and do a bit of hearts and minds on the Pineys behalf. They all now agree he's of no concern to them. Pineys are protected under Irish law anyway. Either way, they're relatively benign creatures ~ and, undeniably, rather cute