Trail cameras are a great way to watch wildlife without having to get too close and interfere with an animals behaviour. When you watch wildlife face to face it often acts differently, it can be wary about your presence.
Trail cameras can also capture footage for many hours or days at a time, and at inconvenient times such as the early hours of the morning.
Although this makes it seem like an easy option, capturing animals on trail camera needs knowledge of the animals behaviour, patterns of movement, and a lot of field craft and research in to where to place the camera.
Even when you have worked out the best place to locate the camera it can still be hit and miss and I have lots of footage where a badger or fox is doing something really interesting but is half out of the frame.
One of the best things about trail cameras is finding out what goes on in and around my garden when I’m not.
Recently, around my garden, the trail cameras have filmed European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), Badgers (Meles Meles), Wood Mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) Bank Voles (Myodes glareolus)
I normally set my cameras for 30 seconds, with a gap of 1 minute. Sometimes this works and sometimes, like in the clip above, it means I miss the important bit such as here the film stops before the hedgehog actually eats the slug.
This is a still taken from the footage, it is the juvenile hedgehog covered in slug slime after eating the slug.
It is a hard decision how long to set the cameras to film for because I have to sit and watch all the films back the next day to see if I have captured anything interesting. Sometimes this can be over one hundred clips, many of them are things like 2 seconds of a wood mouse running off then 28 seconds of nothing.
Where the hedgehog feeds next to our bug hotel there also lives a couple of wood mice and a bank vole.
It is interesting that the wood mice and the bank vole seem to take it in turns to feed and never appear together. The wood mice tend to eat the sunflower seeds while the bank vole runs off with the peanuts.
I also made a short You Tube video of the animals that visited our allotment over a 24 hour period.