Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 26/06/2014

Things that go… snuffle snuffle snuffle… in the night.


Visitor at midnight (or there abouts)

So, where was I, before I somehow managed to be incapacitated by a fever… (in the middle of summer? how on earth did that happen!?)…  oh yes, I had just arrived on the island of Skomer… but that is going to have to wait a little longer as I’ve had one of the best days, to use the modern vernacular, EVER!

Now I hope, Dear Reader, that I’m not want to use such glib common terms, unless I’m trying (I say trying, Boy*) to ironic or sarcastic however in this instance I am being quite earnest.  I bought a “camera trap” last week but having been laid up in bed for 3 days with a temperature I’d not really set the device up or place it in the garden (or back wood).  For those unfamiliar with camera traps, they’re (generally) small weather sealed boxes that combine digital cameras (these days) and motion sensors which can be used to monitor for wildlife.  I’d been thinking about buying one for 6 months or so, and even thought about building one myself based on the inexpensive Raspberry Pi mini computer however a supermarket chain who have weekly offers were selling a camera trap I’d previously looked at at less than half price so I decided I had nothing to lose and boy am I glad I did.

I’ve mentioned before, I think (and if I haven’t then please excuse me Dear Reader) that our garden backs on to woodland and that we’ve had many varied visitors from the natural world (and probably a number from the unnatural world) over the years.  Highlight have included a Little Owl, Skylark, Spotted Flycatcher, and a pair of Tawny Owls that make regular appearances.  We’ve also heard the ghostly (there’s the unnatural world link) calls of  Muntjac deer echoing from the woods which put the plaintive howls of the foxes we’ve had visit to shame.  As the camera trap had Infra-red lighting and sensor capabilities, I was interested to see if either of these actually made their way into the garden and so this morning the first thing I did was to make a beeline for the device.  Reviewing the pictures, there were the ubiquitous cat photographs, which I had anticipated would fill the sensor and then I was stopped in my tracks… literally when I saw the first nighttime visitor… a badger.  A BADGER… I was so excited, and I still am some 14 hours later… a badger… in my garden!

I’ve put the camera back out in the garden, in the same position, and put some peanuts and sunflower seeds in close proximity to ensure the animal doesn’t just dash past the camera (hence the slightly blurred image).. and I’ve bought a second camera and put it in a different position to try and get more photos.

For the more observant of you, and feel free to give yourself ten points, the photo contains not one but two nighttime visitors – both mammals.  Did you notice it?  If you guessed fox, then I’m afraid you don’t get any points but if you said bat then you certainly deserve the points, well done. I can’t wait to see what the cameras capture tonight.. fingers crossed.

*  You have to have said (even if it’s only in your own head**) that in the voice of the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn***
** If you can manage to say it into someone elses head, could you tell me what the winning lottery tickets are for the weekend please… oh really, 2, 7 15, 22, 31 and 44… perfect, thanks.

*** Who interestingly, like many cartoons, was based on an already successful TV/Radio character Senator Claghorn (you will, Dear Reader, also be thinking of Top Cat/Sergeant Bilko… you weren’t?)

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Responses

  1. That’s funny that I only saw one! I guess I am so used to seeing double that I thought it was one. Teehee. Very cool critter though!!


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