First attempts with trailcam

I do a lot of tinkering with webcams and raspberry pi’s. This works after a fashion but I decided to finally invest in a proper trail camera. The difference in quality is significant.

The camera I’ve bought is a Browning Recon Force Advantage from Nature Spy, and so far it’s looking promising. I’ve still got a bit to learn though. My main surprise is how much ambient light is needed before the camera stops using Infrared. The following video was, according to the timestamp, taken at 11:21AM today, and all the preceding videos are in infra red.

Admittedly it’s a wet, dreich day, and natural daylight hasn’t been in abundance anyway. Plus, the camera is strapped to the trunk of a Leylandii tree and I’m wondering whether the branches are casting shade over the camera’s sensor, despite the main capture area being relatively open.

After 11:21 the camera flips to daylight and suddenly there is colour.

No real surprises in the captures. Grey squirrels, magpies and crows. And it’s given me some ideas about the capture area. I think I’ll put it on that Katsura tree tonight (the one with the dangling yellow cable) and point it to the big tree stump.

Bring out your dead

For a few days I had a motion-sensitive webcam on the blue tit nestbox. It was a neat set-up but the usual problems of false-postives were too much of a headache to solve. Apart from dappled sunlight shadows being sensed as motion the tree itself would sway gently in the wind, as can be seen in the video clip below.

While fast-forwarding through chunks of nothing-happeningness I stumbled across this rather grim segment. I’m assuming that it’s a parent bird clearing out a dead chick. One of its own. It did occur to me it might be predation by another adult blue-tit but I’m not sure if Blue Tits do that.

Here’s a still taken at the time the adult takes out the dead chick. That was Saturday (three days ago). I’ve not noticed much, if any activity since then so perhaps it’s a failed nest.

Blue Tit nestbox