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 2017.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Appeal to save ice age heritage of Scotland’s national tree

Dead Scots pine, or snag, silhouetted against shafts of
sunlight over Gleann na Ciche & Loch Affric
Trees for Life has launched an initiative to save ancient Scots pines across the Highlands of Scotland from becoming the last generation in a lineage of trees dating back to the last ice age.

Through its Caledonian Pinewood Recovery Project, the conservation charity wants to help restore 50 areas of remnant and neglected pinewoods – mainly made up of lone, ancient ‘Granny’ pines which are over 200 years old but dying as they stand, with no young trees to succeed them.

The fragments – scattered over a large area – face growing threats from overgrazing by deer, tree diseases and climate change, and are at risk of

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Standard versus Wide angle lens comparison in Ltl Acorn wildlife cameras.

Fig 1: 5310 and 5310W


Ltl Acorn first introduced cameras with a wide angle lens option early in 2014 and there are now several models with this option which are identified by the letter W in the model number.

I was an instant convert because much of what I use these cameras for is wildlife close up with a need to see as far to the sides as possible in enclosed woodland settings.

Depending on the type of use you intend there are some basics that need consideration such as the size of the subject and its distance from the camera.

With the wide angle lens the closest focus is down to about 30cm where with the standard lens it is about a metre. Subjects will also be smaller in the frame at a given distance compared to the standard lens.

I created the composite image in figure 2 to provide an easy reference to determine which lens is best  for your

Saturday, 2 September 2017

No screen in test mode caused by faulty switch


This post deals with a problem which occasionally occurs with all models of  Ltl Acorn cameras and probably with many other makes of trail camera. It is caused by dirty switch contacts and symptomised by a blank control panel screen when the camera is switched to TEST.

Fig 2: Dismantled OFF/ON/TEST switch
No screen in TEST can also be caused by not inserting an SD card in the SD card slot, or by a faulty SD card but in

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

SWA to work in the five areas which are of most benefit to Scottish wildcat preservation

Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia)
Photo: Peter Cairns

Scottish Wildcat Action (SWA) has announced that its five-year project to save Scotland’s wildcats is to focus on five key areas, where evidence suggests that at least 19 wildcats are roaming free.

The shift in focus comes after years of extensive survey work across nine areas helped the SWA team narrow its aim to five areas, which will allow for the most effective use of the programme’s limited resources.
Scottish Wildcat Action is a national project supported by the Heritage

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
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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.