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What tracks are these?

What tracks are these?


Postby SlimRidge » Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:24 pm

Hello all, hopefully someone will help solve this mystery. Was out walking behind the house last week, south of Foyers on the Dell Estate, and came across these tracks frozen on the surface of a lochan. They look feline to me, sorry now I didn't put something next to them for scale, but they were 45 mm across. Too big for a Scottish wildcat surely? I can't really fathom what other animal would make tracks like this.
IMG_20210208_155025.jpg


Ideas?
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby WalkWithWallace » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:06 pm

Knuckle duster tracks. :wtf:
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:12 pm

Not sure, but prints in snow and ice can change shape and grow quite a lot with freeze/thaw cycles. Only a little too big for a large domestic cat, so maybe the melting in sun and refreezing has just exaggerated them. I agree (from googling, I know little on tracking, though am trying to learn, slowly) that they look a reasonable match for felines, if somewhat distorted. One front and one rear, bit odd if there were not others, but that might have been the only softer patch when it passed through I guess.

Basically, I'm guessing!
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby jmarkb » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:23 pm

The best defined print seems to have 5 toes and a fairly pointed rear to the main pad - otter is a possibility (and would be the right sort of size).
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:12 pm

jmarkb wrote:The best defined print seems to have 5 toes and a fairly pointed rear to the main pad - otter is a possibility (and would be the right sort of size).


Good shout jmarkb. I have visited that area many times and never seen an otter but I know they are there. What I have seen a lot of around there is pine martens and the odd badger. I'm not sure how their tracks compare. :?

Be interested to know what lochan that is, it's a fantastic area you can never tire of.
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:37 pm

PLOT TWIST: this photograph was taken at 30 thousand feet. :lol:
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby SlimRidge » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:30 am

Sunset tripper wrote:
jmarkb wrote:The best defined print seems to have 5 toes and a fairly pointed rear to the main pad - otter is a possibility (and would be the right sort of size).


Good shout jmarkb. I have visited that area many times and never seen an otter but I know they are there. What I have seen a lot of around there is pine martens and the odd badger. I'm not sure how their tracks compare. :?

Be interested to know what lochan that is, it's a fantastic area you can never tire of.


I'm gonna go with otter as well after looking at the various tracks online. Mind, it would have been a fairly substantial one, but maybe the tracks have distorted as someone said. Surprised he didn't take a nice slide across the ice though, I couldn't help doing it.

Damn well I'll have to strike off my "Beast of Stratherrick" theory now...

The lochan isn't named on the map, but it's just on the N side of Torr Cluanie. Nice to walk around when the bog is frozen solid!

Cheers for replies all!
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby SlimRidge » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:54 am

WalkWithWallace wrote:Knuckle duster tracks. :wtf:


You jest, but the squirrels here should be assumed "armed and dangerous". Don't look em in the eye and walk swiftly on.
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby Spade » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:10 pm

Maybe a fox
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Re: What tracks are these?

Postby CharlesT » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:26 pm

I'm sure it's an Otter. The large rear pad, five toes without claw marks showing is fairly distinctive.
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