First Impressions & double take.

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Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
I thought I would share a this one , It had me scratching my head for a bit.
So I was out today for an hour trying out my new glasses (not working out to well) anyhoo so while practising an extended 10 step exercise "50 paces" maybe only five minuets after laying out the track I found this and thought my self "that cant be right, that badger would have had to have been be only seconds behind me".

So, first impression who went first boots or badger?

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It was a closer look at the registration in the ( I'm guessing it was a male badger track) that finally gave the game away.
 
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Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
Yup, two digital pads on the rear foot survived in the gap between the heel and the sole of the boot but the overprinted inter-digital pad of the forefoot was lost under my heel.
From a couple of meters away it looked a very different story.
 
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dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
It is one that you double-take on because you don't expect that sort of gap on the average shoe.

Where there any more tracks nearby?
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
It was three or four years ago I took this picture and cant remember now which of the first two tracks were the fresher, easy for the last walker though.

Zoomed in a bit but I don't know if it will help much for ageing the tracks and deciding which is the oldest but here goes
 
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dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
Hi Dewi If your in the mood for a wee teaser Bro try this one, just for a bit for fun.
Heron Otter and Pheasant.
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I'd say that was both. Could be wrong, but there is a large print there that I reckon is the heron otter, the smaller ones a pheasant. No idea what the south facing print is though... I want to say squirrel... but then I'm not the best on animal prints.
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
I'd say that was both. Could be wrong, but there is a large print there that I reckon is the heron otter, the smaller ones a pheasant. No idea what the south facing print is though... I want to say squirrel... but then I'm not the best on animal prints.
Maybe an image with a scale is what you need to decide.

Tape measure in inches.


Where there any more tracks nearby?

I followed the otter trail for about three or four hundred meters across a partially flooded sand quarry so lots of tracks, but not once did I find any sign of tail drag, I got a nice cast that day to.
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I filled this track with sand for a better photo, this time with a six inch scale.
 
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dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
I read that wrong last night :lmao: despite typing the word otter, I was thinking it was two bird tracks and something else unidentified.

Told you I wasn't the best at animal tracks :eek:

Can't tell which came first though... Presume the otter?
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
I read that wrong last night :lmao: despite typing the word otter, I was thinking it was two bird tracks and something else unidentified.

Told you I wasn't the best at animal tracks :eek:

Can't tell which came first though... Presume the otter?
Hey no worries Dewi, that's cool, for a while there I thought I had written something weird, it wouldn't have been the first time I got my up words mixed all Bro.;)

Heron, pheasant, otter in that order.
Hi Ged.
Not to easy looking at a picture without a scale in the image , it probably would have helped if the otter track was in focus to, Heron track length around 160mm, from memory a Pheasant track is probably about 70-90 mm, assuming I'm right that is, see disclaimer above :eek:.
 

dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
Must've been the missing comma that threw me... I read 'Heron otter' and 'pheasant, rather than heron, otter and pheasant. Then, for reasons only known my warped brain, I ended up trying to identify which print was a heron, which was a pheasant and off I went into fairyland with the squirrels :p

Now that my brain has de-warped... the heron definitely came before the pheasant, but the otter, on the top side of the print there is a small indent. Is that made by the otter or the pheasant?
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
the otter, on the top side of the print there is a small indent. Is that made by the otter or the pheasant?
The small hole in the top left of the otter track is the claw from the pheasant's first toe #1 ( hallux rear toe) "just looked that one up" the smudge to the top right is the otters proximal pad.
 
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dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
The small hole in the top left of the otter track is the claw from the pheasant's first toe #1 ( hallux rear toe) "just looked that one up" the smudge to the top right is the otters proximal pad.

So the pheasant's toe is overlapping the otter, or the otter is overlapping the pheasant toe?

pheasant_footprint_in_wet_peat_CC1366.jpg


Looking at the toe print... I reckon its on top of the otter print... so all you can tell is that the pheasant went last?? :confused:
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
Looking at the toe print... I reckon its on top of the otter print... so all you can tell is that the pheasant went last?? :confused:

Hi Dewi

To me, looking at the weathering on the otter track I would guess the otter track is maybe a day or two older than the birds tracks, "just my observations here, and I could easily be wrong" sometime after the otter made the track it had been windy and some dry grit has blown across the mud and dropped in to the track, the wind will also have accelerated the weathering a bit, the inside of the track wall on the right hand side of the digital pads looks like it has begun to dry out a bit. The horizon cut in the otter track also looks to be much softer and more rounded and weathered looking than the bird tracks which look to have a much sharper and crisper edge and a more consistently even shine. As for the birds the heron went first for sure but not by much, anything from a couple of hours to maybe even just a couple of minutes.
 
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Mr Pic

FRom where I'm sitting in the northern forest I'd say you are good. The otter track is one day old maybe little more if it was wet before and have started to change. The big bird Heron he went next and the pheasant which is smaller went last his prints are very clear. If the heron had been first during the same time there would be his print would have sunk through the pheasant bird print.

But then you must take into account what the weather and ground does to prints. And we don't have the same ground conditions as you do. Its much wetter and damp in UK than up here. If it was hot, dry and sunny before those pictures were taken the prints over the sand would be much older looking.

Our otters mainly carry tail off the ground we say they do that because they don't like to get it dirty.
 

dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,644
5
Cheshire
Interesting stuff... must walk past tracks like that once or twice a week on a ramble and not given them a second glance... will be doing in future though.
 
Mar 15, 2011
1,118
7
on the heather
Mr Pic

FRom where I'm sitting in the northern forest I'd say you are good. The otter track is one day old maybe little more if it was wet before and have started to change. The big bird Heron he went next and the pheasant which is smaller went last his prints are very clear. If the heron had been first during the same time there would be his print would have sunk through the pheasant bird print.

But then you must take into account what the weather and ground does to prints. And we don't have the same ground conditions as you do. Its much wetter and damp in UK than up here. If it was hot, dry and sunny before those pictures were taken the prints over the sand would be much older looking.

Our otters mainly carry tail off the ground we say they do that because they don't like to get it dirty.
Hi Joe,
The area I was in had a shallow but very quickly drying out pool in a working sand quarry, at the end of a wet winter but just at the start of long dry spell. Here's a picture I took in the same place a week or two later, me looking at me, looking for otter tracks :confused: you can see how much sand has blown across the area and how well my footprints have survived.
 

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