VIDEO: Family of playful stoats at nature reserve

A screenshot taken from Ian's video by The Standard
A screenshot taken from Ian's video by The Standard

Rare footage captured of four stoats play-fighting at RSPB Frampton Marsh has become a hit online.

The short video was captured by local wildlife enthusiast Ian Ellis, who has been visiting Frampton marsh for the past 53 years.

“I’ve seen weasels and stoats walking about and standing up like meerkats here before, but I’ve never seen them quite as lively as this,” said Ian.

His short clip was posted on Twitter yesterday and has already attracted over 160 likes, nearly 50 shares and various comments.

“Someone even asked me if I had sped up the video with the fast-forward button as the stoats are moving so quickly,” he said.

Other Twitter users have suggested the footage would work well to the Benny Hill theme tune.

Wyberton resident Ian, who describes himself as ‘a Frampton addict’ hit the headlines in recent years with his a photo of a seal surrounded by bemused cows at the site - which was picked up by international news agencies. He also managed to snap a photo of a rare white swallow there.

But while he sits patiently shooting alongside other photographers brandishing expensive camera lenses, Ian simply captures his images with a humble compact Panasonic camera pointed down the eyepiece of a telescope.

“I like to use my own little inventions to capture these magic moments,” he said. “But I’ve upgraded since then and shoot video now using a digital camcorder.”

He added: “I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. I just love spending time on my own there, and that is when you see the best things.”

Ian’s other snapshots of wildlife at the marsh include spoonbills taking a bath and beautiful footage of reed warbler chicks being fed by their mother.

You can follow Ian’s posts via @Hawkeyeellis on Twitter.