We found this offering on the front doorstep this morning, a chaffinch which had been neatly butchered leaving its feathers and head. This isn't the trademark of our cats, who tend to eat birds feathers and all but leaving the feet, so we had no idea what had done this.
However, it seems too much of a coincidence that, just as we were sitting in the conservatory with a hot drink, having been driven in from weeding the raspberries by the rain, a pine marten arrived to check the exact spot where the corpse had been left. On the other hand, perhaps it wasn't his kill but his keen sense of smell had drawn him to it.
Disappointed, he jumped up onto the terrace wall and walked along it to....
....check the bird feeders, first the patented mark 4 seed dispenser, then....
....the peanut holders, none of which gave him any satisfaction.
I'm sure he knew he was being watched as, just before he left, he stood on the wall and posed - right profile, facing us, then left profile. He is very beautiful but, to be honest, we'd rather he didn't call as our cats don't like him.
It's unusual to see pine martens in the middle of the day but perhaps he, like us, had seen the forecast for rain settling in for the rest of the day, so had decided to get his hunting finished early.