Sunday, 22 January 2017

River Cam make a short but auspicious start

Following repeated failures with Otter Cam I decided that for 2017 I would focus less on the target and more upon the place, so was born River cam.

I have managed to find a suitable tree upon which to place the camera, it has a view of a quiet part of the river close to a used entry/exit point. I have tried to aim it so that it picks up the near bank and the river. Since it was set up at the start of the year I have worked on the angle of view and so far captured little except a fox and some inquisitive fishermen who stopped to say hello.

This week something interesting was captured just a few seconds of a grey heron.

On the main camera the number of Fox sightings has increased I am still seeing the limping fox but the uninjured one is becoming much more regularly sighted.
An interesting clip invloves the Badgers though. It shows something obviously spooking a Badger and it high-tailing it out of there. Badgers have poor eyesight but excellent smell and hearing. You can see the Badger mark the territory and then detect something. It raises its head to get a better sense of what was out there before turning and running. It runs in the opposite direction of the sett.

As today was a nice frosty sunny morning there were quite a lot birds about. There were flocks of Black Headed Gulls and Redwings on the fields and there were plenty of small Tits in the trees.

A male Kestrel was out hunting which was nice and I managed to get a few shots.

As I was preparing to leave I saw my recent holy grail a lone male Teal. I managed to get some shots off at a long distance, but as always when I moved down the bank side nearer it disappeared into the reeds. Even so they are handsome birds and a pleasure to see.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Camera Trapping - A review of the year.

My camera trap year runs from April to April but I thought people might be interested in some data from the last 12 calendar months.

In the past 365 my camera has been in place and recording for 335 days (92% of the year). It was activated a total of 3588 times of which 1052 were activation only's, errors or failures (29.3%).

This number of activations equates to 107,640 seconds worth of footage, that's 29.9 hours of clips to watch.

335 days equals 8040 hours and an activation by something recordable occurred 21.13 hours worth of time meaning that along the hedgerow there was an animal or me present 0.26% of the time!

The very first animal recorded in 2016 was a Wood Mouse and the very last a muntjac and fawn. They were recorded at 23.58 on the 31st December. This goes to prove that Muntjac will breed throughout the year.

Aside from myself over the past, 12 months's the camera recorded:

Wood Mice - 255 activations
Muntjac - 233 activations
Badgers - 246 activations
Foxes - 133 activations
Grey Squirrels - 312 activations
Brown Rats
A Domestic Cat

Wood Pigeon
Song Thrush
Great Tit

The pie chart shows that the occurrence of the main species is fairly even although Grey Squirrel just edge the most populous and the Red Fox is the least.

Over the year I have caught some interesting behaviour such as identifying the badgers regular sprainting and how they forage. The squirrels have been very feisty and squabbling a lot and the fox has been quite elusive.

On the unusual side has been the few sightings of Rabbit. Rabbits used to be prolific on the site but never recorded on the camera using the hedgerow but this time over a few days individuals were sighted, possibly bucks seeking new territories.

Heres to another 12 months. I will have completed 3 years worth of data and so look out for graphs of each of the main species then.