Report from Chris Smith
For comments on these tracks see the Photo album
I recently had a brief glimpse of what appeared to be a big cat, crossing the road in my headlights.
Next day I returned to the spot and found tracks, which I photographed.
I have tried to identify them from a book, but I am a complete novice and I really would like to have confirmation - or to be put on the right track - by someone with experience.
Can you suggest anyone who might be prepared to attempt an identification from photographs?
Details of sighting
Here are further details. In my last e-mail I deliberately did not put in too many details of the sighting itself, as I was tired and distracted and it was only in my headlights for a half second or so. So my own observations are not necessarily that accurate. If I hadn't checked the road-edge the next morning, I would probably have dismissed the sighting by now as merely my imagination.
Here you are:
The animal bounded into the headlights then out again into the dark. It was about forty yards in front of me. A double track road: one pounce onto the white line then it cleared the grass verge into the field on the other side.
The sighting was at 4.31 am on the morning of 19 th September.
Location - on the Black Isle, about seven miles north of Inverness.
My impression, in a half-second sighting, was a cat shape a bit smaller than a labrador dog. It was all over very quickly, and looking back at my notes I see that I couldn't clearly remember the tail.
Colouring was gingery/tawny. Definitely a light colour, not black.
19 th September 2001
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