Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Offham cat resurfaces

A mass of seasonal farmwork over the last fortnight has meant little time for cat stuff however a brief respite today gave the chance of an afternoon foray in search of the Offham cat.Sightings in this block of country have occured on a regular basis over the last 5 years(and way beyond)like Plumpton 3.3.07,Streat 30.9.09,Ditchling december 09,Offham 5.2.10,Plumpton Green 15.2.10,Offham tree scratches,missing foal mystery,foxes killed and eaten late april 10.All this activity has happened here in a month with a r in it,in other words the colder months.Does this piece of ground,mixed farmed intersperced with small decidious woodland blocks connected by thick hedges in the shadow of the Downs,offer a bigcat a winter holding ground?It can be muddy in places but the varying soil drains well mostly,is stocked with plenty of game and the main Lewes to Seaford railway line runs through it offering quick connections to other parts of the county.Having heard of no cat activity here since last spring and feeling intrigued i was off to find out.The usual leafleting carried out and a quick check on a couple of copses revealed little in the way of evidence unless a distinct lack of foxes is.I was last there in august and it was heaving with them,the woodland floor littered with their activitys,nothing now.I moved on a bit west and chewing the fat with a local cattle farmer,together bemoaning the high price and lack of winter fodder,he mentioned a bigcat sighting a fortnight ago by a local landowner.Chunky,black,labrador sized,seen slinking along a hedge line.Bingo!A recce to another place nearby again revealed no foxes whatsover and although there were some signs of deer they were keeping their heads down even in this warm autumn sun,usually i would expect to see them basking a bit especially as it goes down.Admittedly i could find no bigcat evidence as such but a couple of leads like this is all i need,hopefully more information from outside sources will come in,luckyly next week i,m due to drop by a farm in the area giving a good chance to look round so who knows what might turn up?By all accounts so far it looks like the Offham cat is back it being the colde-r months now,being occasionally visible and giving the local fox population a run for its money..

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