First Trailcam Trials 2012

December 18, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I've been aware for probably 20 years or so that badgers and foxes trundle down the length of our garden path at night.  Although we are only minutes from the town centre, we live opposite a field which blends gradually into the Somerset countryside and the Quantock Hills.  At one time in the past the badgers were so noisy, we were woken by them clambering around a gate we'd erected to keep a puppy in the garden.  We've seldom actually seen them as they seem to visit us in the small hours of the night.  Recently my father-in-law encountered a fox in the middle of our lawn and with my increased awareness of 'trailcam technology', I decided to have a go at capturing our nocturnal visitors.

I spoke to my friend and advisor on all things wildlife Rob Chace and found that he'd recently updated his trailcam with a Bushnell model that films in infra-red and can take HD quality video.  With typical generosity he suggested that I borrow it and have a go before splashing out on one of my own so I did - thanks Rob!  I have a custom made gap in the fence specially for wildlife and I set up the camera opposite it.  Then stealing a tip from badgercam veteran Mike Leigh-Mallory, I loaded a rock with peanut butter and placed it in what I hoped was the regular path of my night time friends.  Two nights later, I captured some clips of the neighbour's cat and then this...

This is not great video but it illustrates the potential to find where wildlife is, when it's there and something about their habits.  It's great that anyone can do this and find out something about their garden or favourite area at night while at the same time getting a good night's sleep!  The technology is not vastly expensive and it runs on AA batteries.  What a fantastic head start the next generation of budding naturalists has!


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