Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An egg-rolling stoat for Easter

Egg-rolling is an ancient Easter tradition, but who knew stoats did it too!! Watch as this stoat nudges an egg down a hill, negotiating a old log and off to its secret stash.

Well, actually I have seen them rolling eggs before, but only wild pheasant eggs. I wanted to see if I could get one to roll a hen's egg for Easter so I left one out for it in the garden. At first it was cautious and just bounced around the egg, investigating.

But later that night it returned. I filmed the moment the stoat appeared from behind a branch and cautiously approached the egg. Then it recoiled its neck, as if in surprise, before returning to examine it and then gently nosing it across the grass. 

The stoat rolled the egg across the garden and down the hill, carefully nudging it round hillocks and over tough grass - off to stash it somewhere for a quiet meal later. I've noticed that the stoats in my garden are particularly playful. They actually climb onto the cabbage netting in the vegetable patch and bounce like kids on a trampoline.

I wondered if one would attempt to roll an egg over the unsteady surface so I set up my camera to watch. Sure enough it approached the egg and confidently began to nose it ahead of itself. Watch how the stoat manoeuvres the large hen's egg in and out of the rolling depressions made by its weight on the wobbly cabbage netting.

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