Please do not use "post comments" to ask for camera help and advice. Use phone or Skype IM in the first instance.

Updates and posts to this web site are delayed due to ongoing problems I am having with internet access. This is because of the degradation of the existing phone line infrastructure which it is hoped will be upgraded by the end of the summer of 2017.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

More than 100 cats trapped in fight to save endangered Scottish wildcats

facebook.com/saveourwildcats/
Action to save the enigmatic Scottish wildcat from extinction received a major boost this week with the news that more than 100 cats have been trapped during a recent neutering and vaccinating campaign.
Scottish Wildcat Action’s far-reaching Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) programme was carried out in its priority areas, including Morvern, Strathpeffer, Strathbogie, Northern Strathspey and the Angus Glens. These areas represent a total of 676 square miles (1750 square kilometres) of wildcat habitat.

Feral cats present a threat to wildcats by hybridising with them and diluting the gene pool. Since November last year three wildcat project officers, contractors and dozens of local volunteers helped to catch a total 115 cats.

Of these, 82 were taken to a veterinary surgeon for treatment and later returned, 12 feral kittens were rehomed, seven cats were either pet cats or had been neutered previously and so were all released and two were possible wildcats that were released without neutering. The remaining 12 feral cats sadly tested positive for disease or were in such poor condition and had to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Scottish Wildcat Action is a national project supported by the

Friday, 21 July 2017

Threat to new beaver family in the Highlands of Scotland


A family of beavers found living on a river in the Beauly area in the Scottish Highlands are to be trapped and put into captivity following a decision by Scottish Government Ministers. Trees for Life, the charity which discovered the group, says the family should either stay where they are or be relocated locally.

Film from camera traps set by the conservation experts from the charity in mid-June clearly show the presence of a mother and at least two

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

New Acorn 3G Camera and General Update February 2017

Fig 1:   6310WMG

Internet access and web site posts.

I have had bad problems accessing the internet for over a year and lately difficulty in getting any connection at all. This is due to failing local phone line infrastructure. Engineers have been in the area recently and have managed to make some small improvements.

A fibre cabinet installation is scheduled for this spring so hopefully sometime around April/May this year the whole thing will experience a new lease of life.

At the moment I'm trying to make use of what I have to do some updates and some long overdue camera technical posts.


An introduction to the new Acorn 3G cellular camera.

Over the last couple of years Acorn have been working hard to develop new and improved cameras, the latest of which is the eagerly awaited 3G version of the 6310 shown in figure 1 of which my early tests are encouraging.


Fig 2:  6310 Control Panel
and Screen access.

The 6310 series cameras were an evolution of the 6210 which saw the the control panel and screen moved to the back of the camera body as a way of overcoming damage to the ribbon cable in the 6210.

Other improvements were the larger IR LED array for better night vision and the option of a wide angle lens as an alternative to the standard 52° lens. These are not interchangeable lenses so you have to decide which one you want before you buy. I will be writing posts on both these subjects very soon.

More recently the timekeeping has been improved with a new chipset. Previously the timers would gain by about 10 minutes in every hour but now they are accurate to about 20/100ths of a second so timer on/off and time lapse is very accurate.


Ingress Protection. Unlike all the other Acorn models (and many other camera brands of this type) the 6310s are enclosure rated IP66 rather than IP54.  This means that the 6310 models have superior weather resistance which is another subject for a later post but in brief

Thursday, 26 May 2016

‘Project Wolf’ helps restore Highland woodland

Pictured (L-R): Volunteer wolf pack
Dora Clouttick, James Robertson and Matt McMullen
at Dundreggan Conservation Estate

Project Wolf – a unique new conservation programme in which volunteers replicate the natural disturbance effects of Scotland’s extinct predators – has been launched in the Highlands near Loch Ness by Trees for Life.

Project Wolf is being trialled at the charity’s acclaimed Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire, lying to the west of Loch Ness. It involves volunteers operating in teams of three ‘wolves’, regularly walking through the ancient woodlands during the night and at dusk and dawn, creating disturbance that will keep deer on the move.

“Grazing pressure on young trees by too many deer,

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Marine traffic pressures on Scotland’s cetaceans to be studied using navigation safety technology

Volunteers and scientists onboard Silurian
 copyright 
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

Electronic navigation safety technology is to be used to study the potential impacts of marine traffic on whale, dolphin and porpoise species off western Scotland in a new season of research expeditions launched by Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust this week.

For the first time, scientists and trained volunteers onboard the conservation charity’s specialized research yacht Silurian will use an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder to collect detailed data on other vessels’ movements. This will be combined with sightings and underwater acoustic monitoring of cetaceans – the collective name for

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Public asked to report rare hen harrier sightings

Female Hen Harrier - Scottish Natural Heritage
The public is being asked to report any hen harrier sightings this year by the ‘Heads Up for Harriers’ project group. Run by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland), this is one part of the effort to help rare hen harriers.
Hen harriers frequent many Scottish moors, where their acrobatic aerial courtship displays are a tell-tale sign of breeding activity. But their distribution and numbers are still restricted in some areas.

A number of causes, including illegal persecution, land use changes and predation, have resulted in a reduction in hen harrier numbers, to the point that the hen harrier is now one of Britain’s rarest birds of prey. In reality, however, many factors are likely to come

Thursday, 14 April 2016

25th anniversary bid to extend Glen Affric woodlands towards Scotland’s west coast

Planted Scots pines at Athnamulloch 1
A quarter century of volunteering conservation action in the Highlands is being marked by Trees for Life this month, with a new initiative aiming to expand Scotland’s Caledonian Forest from Glen Affric towards the west coast.

The bid to restore life to deforested parts of the famous glen comes as the award-winning charity next week marks the 25th anniversary of its acclaimed Conservation Weeks, in which volunteers from around the world carry out practical conservation action to protect Scotland’s natural environment.

Trees for Life’s Back to Our Roots appeal is seeking

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Famous killer whale from 1977 never left the neighbourhood

Comet 02.09.2007      Copyright HWDT Genevieve Leaper

The true identity of a famous killer whale known as ‘Dopey Dick’ – who sparked widespread attention when he swam into Derry-Londonderry almost 40 years ago – has at last been identified, thanks to photographs published on social media.

The orca attracted headlines in November 1977, when he made his way up the River Foyle and into the city, apparently in pursuit of salmon, before remaining five kilometres upriver of Loch Foyle for two days. Incredulous at the sight and confused about the whale’s behaviour, locals dubbed him

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A raccoon has been spotted in the wild near Garve in Ross-shire

Raccoon in the Blackwater river catchment area

This news release from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) particularly caught my attention because recently while walking a wooded track to the south west of Inverness my path was crossed by a black Leopard like animal about the height of a medium sized dog. It makes one wonder what else is out there.

Raccoons have been identified in Scotland as one of the top 50 invasive, non-native species most likely to be introduced and cause negative impacts. They are currently kept as pets and zoo animals, and there have been several escapes in the last few years.

Raccoons are native to North America, where they are

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Great Crane Project in Somerset

Ltl Acorn 6310MG with standard lens

A while ago I was contacted by Damon Bridge, the Species Recovery Officer at The Great Crane Project in Somerset who asked if I could help him with the GPRS/SMTP setup for Ltl Acorn 6310MG cameras they were using to monitor predators in the project area.

I suggested he might like to send some images at some point to show progress and last week I received the following comment and pictures.

"Ltl Acorn 6310 cameras are being used by The Great Crane Project in Somerset to keep an eye on the movements of predators and to help inform the project team about incidences of disturbance. 

Cameras successfully showed that short sections of predator proof fencing erected across gateway entrances to fields caused predators to turn around and retrace their steps, rather than entering specific
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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.