European Wild Cat
Posted: 16th Jan 2013
It's been very cold over the last couple of nights and this morning both lakes are covered with a thin layer of ice. I have slowed the draining down of the back bay while the cold sets in, but it's forcast to come back up to 4oc next week so hopefully I can get cracking and complete the Job? we shall see.
I have attached a picture of one of the young Mirrors I netted yesterday from the back bay, and the aim was to breed a small number of selected fish in 2012 while the big lake was split in two, and I had no other stock in the far bay. So far so good with a few 1000 young fish to harvest, and some of the better ones around 1lb-1.5lb which is good going for 6 month old fish!!!
While working on the digger and keeping the canal free flowing yesterday, I wondered up to the far end of the big lake to check the Coypu trap. For anyone who is not familiar with this animal is was introduced for its fur along with the Muskrat and like most introduced animals it escaped and caused serious damage to the banks and lake environment. It is key that I control both these species throughout the year and trapping them in large cage trap is the most effective method. If any other animal becomes trapped it is not harmed in anyway and the sliding doors are activated when they step onto the inside base plate while walking through it.
As all our regular customers know my main passion other than angling is wildlife, and we have been very fortunate to have seen a whole array of rare and wonderful species, with each year a new surprise popping up. But this week something very special showed up while checking the trap. I have seen the odd sighting of Cat's/ Wild Cat's here over the last 7 years, and I have seen a mounted European Wild Cat in the local museum only 2 months ago, so I knew they were present in this region. The European species is the same as the UK varient, but the scottish Wild Cat seems to have more dark barring on its body. On approach I could see the doors were down on the trap and on looking in she was sat there with her wild emerald green eye staring right through me, with her ears set outwards and back. I had a close look and it had the black barred, thick bushy tail, black stripe running down the full length of it's spine, huge front pads like a small Tiger and the white muzzel and snow white whiskers. What a stunning creature and a true apex predator with nothing to fear other than humans, it was on confirming with pictures when I got back to the house it was a pure Wildcat I had just been looking at moments earlier, with no sign of it being a cross with a domestic cat. It was also large for a cat and somewhere around the size of a small dog like our "Wookie" but nowhere near as FAT!!!!!!!
What a treat that was and just shows what an array of wildlife lives here over the course of the a season. We have had Osprey taking fish from the lake, Goshawk taking prey down in the valley, Hobby, Red Squirrel, Pine Martin, Salamander & Wild Cat to top the list, along with everything in between, does it get any better than that?
Back soon when I spot a Black Rino or T-Rex!!!!
Over & Out