While photographing a Fallow Stag I decided to remove the extender from my lens to get a different composition. As the Camera was in pieces and my hands fumbling with Extender caps I noticed the stags attention was focused on something. As I followed his line of sight I saw a Stoat busily hussling towards me. To say I was thin in sheer panic would be an understatement. My fumbling with the lenses and camera became painfully long as the Stoat then stopped less than 10 yards in front of me and then proceeded to sit back on his hind legs to stand tall perched on a particularly photograpghic log. By the time the camera was together he had snuck off into some nearby bracken. I waited for 10 minutes for him to remerge but had no luck.
Feeling lukcy to have seen him, but unlucky to have decided to change the camera lenses I set to work on my Stag portrait. As I clicked away I noticed the Stags attention drawn again. I looked up and this little guy was posing perfectly. I managed to reframe my rig and grab 2 images before he busily carried on with his day.
Definetly a moment to remember for a very long time. Lucky Days :-)
Best viewed large :-)
Stoat (Mustela erminea) – Devon, UK
Canon 500mm F4 IS plus 1.4x Extender
Evaluative metering +/3
Text adapted from – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoat
The stoat also known as the ermine or short-tailed weasel, is a species of Mustelid native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. Its range has expanded since the late 19th century to include New Zealand, where it is held responsible for declines in native bird populations. It is classed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to its wide circumpolar distribution, and the fact that it does not face any significant threat to its survival. It is listed among the 100 “world’s worst alien invasive species”.
The root word for “stoat” is likely either the Belgic word stout, meaning “bold” r the Gothic word stautan, meaning “to push”. ccording to John Guillim, in his Display of Heraldrie, the word “ermine” is likely derived from Armenia, the nation where it was thought the species originated, hough other authors have linked it to the Norman French from the Teutonic harmin (Anglo-Saxon hearma). This again seems to come from the Lithuanian word šarmu. In Ireland (where the least weasel does not occur), the stoat is referred to as “weasel”, while in North America it is called “short-tailed weasel”. A male stoat is called a dog, hob or jack, while a female is called a bitch or jill. The collective noun for stoats is either “gang” or “pack”.