Couldn’t resist posting this picture of an ermine which a friend found online and sent to me – I’ve seen my ferrets doing precisely the same sort of thing, and can imagine the same frantic hissing/honking sound.
I feel quite conflicted about stoats/ermines because while they are a major killer of red and black grouse, they are without question the coolest and most fascinating predators that we have in this country. I’ll always kill them on the Chayne, but as and when I run into them on neutral territory, I happily cheer them on. I’ve had more pleasure watching stoats than I have any other mammal species, and having seen them dancing like this a couple of times, I always feel amazed that these nutcases are living animals with muscles and bones, not just pieces of ribbon blowing in the wind.
Speaking of ermines, I need to get back in touch with the taxidermist, who has had the ermine I caught on the Chayne for a little while now.