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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Who's living in this hole

At another forest location is an old disused Badger Sett which I've been keeping an eye on, and recently there has been some fresh digging at one of the entrance holes. This last week I decided to stake it out with the trail camera and see what might be visiting.

On the second night the hole was investigated about two hours apart by a Pine Marten and a Badger. Both animals entered the hole briefly but neither stayed for more than a few minutes.

There were no false triggers on the camera to suggest that anything had exited the hole and disappeared during the camera delay time and neither animal stayed long enough to indicate anything other than a passing interest.

For the moment I can only assume that the fresh digging is exploratory. Curiously a Fox was caught fleetingly at the edge of the light, just after 9pm on the third night, and as is usual with Foxes, was spooked by the IR. The slightest suggestion of anything out of place and the local Foxes just melt away. Again nothing to suggest it was using this hole as I would have expected it to be out earlier if it had been exiting the hole after laying up. Mind you, I still have a question mark over this as the delay time on the camera would miss a fast exit.

Just after 3pm on the second day the camera was triggered by Chaffinch's feeding on the ground around the entrance. Suddenly they were spooked by something and took off in a great hurry after which a wing briefly appeared in the right hand side of the frame. I've looked at this several times and I'm fairly certain it was a hunting Sparrowhawk but there's not enough visible to make posting the video clip worthwhile.

It did leave me wondering how often trail cameras catch this sort of event, especially as in this case, in a confined forest environment.

I've now moved the camera back to the other Sett where I'm hoping young will emerge during April but will check this hole from time to time.

Below is a brief clip of the Marten and Badger.

Who's living here from Ron Bury on Vimeo.
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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.