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Strange sound in the loft

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We have a range of outbuildings where the first floor was at one time

used as bedrooms for the servants, the ceiling is boarded and there is

"something" which we have not yet seen living there.   We

have spent the morning breaking through the ceiling to get into the

loft space and the resident was extremely angry about this - growling

and chattering at us.  We have so far found the shell of a hens

egg and lots of feathers - could this be a glis glis / loir /

dormouse?  Does anyone know if they growl when angry or scared or

possibly protecting young?  I have heard it moving around during

the morning and thought that glis glis were nocturnal.  The

building has a stone wall about 60cm thick and there are plenty of ways

that this animal could access the loft area through various holes and

gaps.   There are droppings which are old but are much larger

than those of a rat.  Do other rodents co-exist with

rats?   We have a big live trap which we will bait up with

apple - if we catch anything how far away should we take it to stop it

coming back?

Back to the fray now - on with the masks and gloves! (The smell is

quite horrid - they seem to have been using the old insulation, which

is probably glass fibre, for years - I'm surprised they don't die of

lung disease!)

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Sounds like a fouine - (stone marten) to me.  These look a bit like large stoats.  I imagine they would growl when cornered and are certainly partial to fowl and eggs.  They might also still have young to feed - so another reason for the growling. They are mainly nocturnal but maybe the young ones move around in the morning.  Might be an idea to wait a while so the young have a chance of maturing before leaving mum.  Chris will probably have an idea about when they will be old enough to leave home?

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There have been odd traces before but it's only recently that we've

actually heard them moving about.  I thought that fouines were

nocturnal?  We've been investigating a bit more this afternoon and

have found a "larder" with a number of dead birds in it.  No more

growling though - to start with the growling sounded a bit like a feral

cat but then got louder and there was a kind of chattering noise as


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Hope it's the former and not a visitor we had,a MINK. Why he/she had to pick our roof  when there are quite a few old barns and outhouses about I don't know. After the first couple of sleepless nights,I think it was wearing lead wellies, I tried to deter it by putting wire mesh over the four roof access points.My wife and I actually sat in the car late one night and watched it rip the mesh off one corner and then lift the galvanised sheeting to get into the roof space. I had to put 3 layers nailed and wired on ,to eventually  stop the persistant little B.  It was a bit like being under seige. Now I have the opposite problem of worrying how my one legged robin will manage to feed it's 3 young, it's like being an expectant father,if you know what I mean.

Regards. B&B St.Malo      ourinns.org

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