Yesterday morning I spied this pine marten (Martes martes) in our garden.
S/he enjoyed a snack of peanuts that were lying on the ground, from where I’d swept them from the squirrel nut box when I cleaned it out yesterday.
It was difficult to get a clear shot as the pine marten kept nosing-on down in the ground elder snuffling around looking for nuts.
This is the first time I’ve seen a pine marten in the garden although I’ve suspected they were about as my neighbour has seen them in her garden.
Edit to add a little information re numbers and distribution.
According to The Mammal Society the number and spread of martens have made a significant recovery in the 20th century. Until the 19th Century, pine martens were found throughout much of mainland Britain, the Isle of Wight and some of the Scottish islands. Habitat fragmentation, persecution by gamekeepers and martens being killed for their fur, drastically reduced this distribution. By 1926, the main pine marten population in Britain was restricted to a small area of north-west Scotland, with small numbers in N Wales and the Lake District. Martens have now increased their range in Scotland, and now occur throughout the Highlands, north of the Central Belt.
The pine marten remains one of the rarest native mammals in Great Britain, with a total population of around 3-4,000, but Ireland probably also has as many.