On 17th September I reported the find of a dead polecat on the reserve, found near the entrance to the sailing club on Ivy Lane. This was the first record for the reserve, although I knew them to be present in the general area. A sad, but all too typical tale of a roadkill, a rather regular occurrence for polecats. However it turned out the story was not nearly so simple as it seemed.
When the New Forest West group of the Wildlife Trust had their monthly meeting at Blashford earlier this month I overheard Paul Toynton say he had lost a polecat. In fact he had lost a dead polecat, it rapidly became obvious that the polecat lost and the one found on Ivy Lane were one and the same. It turned out the animal had actually been found at Tidpit and taken to the sailing club to be picked up by someone who wanted the corpse. However before it could be picked up by the intended recipient it was "found" and brought up to the Centre and became, for a time, the first reserve record.
It seems a polecat may move further in death than it did on life. The moral of this tale is to be careful where you leave that dead polecat, a lesson for us all.