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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Remote camera results for December 2011

Camera trap location 1
This year, although I'll still be surveying red squirrels, I'm also going to be setting camera traps through a cross section of the glen, in the hope of finding evidence of wildcat.

I've already seen a large cat hunting a hare which, although I couldn't verify this at the time, may well have been a hybrid if not a pure wildcat. I've also found other signs which suggest at least one large cat in this area and I'm eager to prove it one way or the other.

Sitka Spruce cone predation by Red Squirrel
The camera I've chosen to use is the Ltl Acorn 5210A 940nm and for the last couple of months I've been testing a number of these in different environmental conditions to get to know their operational parameters.

So far they're proving to be a good choice, not least because they're about half the price of any other comparable camera; and on my budget that's an important consideration. I'll post more about their performance at a later date.

Roe Deer
The location pictured above left is adjacent to a deer trail and I also noticed squirrel feeding signs close by, so I set two cameras, positioned at different angles across the trail. One covered the area where the squirrel had been feeding and the other covered a large stump, baited with meat and bone.

(I made a mistake with the menu settings on one camera so the moon, date and time info' is incorrect)

The images on the left and below show a selection of the results over a ten day period in December.

Common Buzzard 
Red Fox
The final tally was Chaffinch, Robin, Jay, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Roe Deer, Red Fox, Red Squirrel and Pine Marten.

The image of the Buzzard (left) is an enlargement from the centre of the frame.

The image of the Red Squirrel (bottom) is from the camera with the correct moon phase, date and time settings and it's worth noting that with shots like this, where the animal is moving quickly across the frame and close to the camera, I wouldn't normally expect to get a record; because the animal would be gone before the camera triggered.

I would hope that this is an indication of the effectiveness of the side prep sensors which, at this time, are unique to these cameras.

Both cameras were set to shoot firstly a still image and then video; and by the time the video started the squirrel was nowhere to be seen.

I'll post a video composite tomorrow as an example.

Red Squirrel

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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.