Tag Archives: camera trap

The Weasels Visit

A fallen tree trunk is a piece of woodland motorway as far as the wood’s denizens are concerned, a clear path for getting from A to B. However, it contains interior passages crammed with food items, so doubles as a service station as well. So I reasoned when I set up my camera trap to look along the top surface of the fallen and mouldering giant.


And so it proved. The camera revealed wood mice scampering along at great speed, no doubt influenced by the dread of the local tawny owl. During September, the camera showed that these risky excursions took place, on average, four times a night, and also showed that voles and shrews made the occasional appearance.

Last Saturday, I returned from the wood with the SD cards from the cameras and started going through the files on my computer. This one, taken just before 7 o’clock in the morning the previous Friday, had me whooping with excitement:

Twenty minutes later, the weasel showed up again, but then there was nothing for the rest of the day, and I thought that the weasel was just passing through. Then I started looking at the files from the next day, and at 8.45 am, there was the weasel again, and this time, it stayed all day, popping in and out of the crack in the log, exuding that aura of both cuteness and ferocity that is so characteristic of their kind.

And there was more than one weasel – in some of the video clips, the weasel looking distinctly younger, and one clip showed both weasels flowing one after the other along the crack in the log.

In all, there were 39 hits spread through the day, from 8.45 am to 5.50 pm. Presumably, they had a rest then because there was no activity until one hit at 1.35 am that night. There was then no sign of the weasels until the following day, Monday, when the final hit occurred at 1.09 pm:

There were no weasels on the camera trap for the next three days, up to the point where I collected the SD cards from the camera, so they have moved on. I am eager to see the next installment from the fallen tree just in case, but I don’t expect to see them back for a while.


Acorns, squirrels and badgers

At the moment, I am using my camera trap to try to find out how many badgers are in each of my local setts, what holes they are using, and where they socialise (mutual grooming and suchlike). For the last couple of days, I have put it on a tree, watching the exit path from a sett that is not easy to watch without being detected.

When I looked at the results from the first session (just 24 hours), I was surprised to see that I had over 60 video clips – I was expecting to just be able to count the badgers going off hunting, and then returning. However, a lot of the clips were daytime, and here’s a typical one :

Apart from the farm cat and a group of pigeons, all of the daytime clips were of a squirrel, sometimes a pair, foraging in this area and burying acorns. That night, out come the badgers :

The badgers – 4 or 5 of them in the sett – spent a lot of time in this area, seeming mostly to be just snuffling amongst the leaves. They did not dig up any acorns – there were plenty lying around on the surface – but certainly seemed curious about the activities of the squirrels. On the other hand, they showed no response at all to the scent of the farm cat who passed along the badger path at a time when there were no badgers in sight.

Lovely piece of kit, this camera trap. Adds another dimension to badger-watching!