Tag Archives: footage

Double mustelids

It hasn’t been since the spring that I’ve properly used my trail cameras and got stuck into filming nocturnal wildlife with them. When I got my first trail camera it started off with filming hedgehogs in my garden, which are still visiting, then moved onto filming at a local badger sett. It then progressed to filming anywhere I thought something interesting may be lurking. This has also included otters, foxes, garden birds and so on. My favourite time to film wildlife with my trail cameras though is overnight. Partly because one of my favourite animals is the badger and it’s also fascinating to know what’s about behind the scenes.

After spending the last few years actively filming a badger sett which was quite a way from my local patch, earlier this year in July whilst exploring a woodland on my patch I was delighted to come across some strange mounds of earth and a selection of holes. Badgers! I was so thrilled to find a sett so close to my house, just a ten minute walk in fact! Unfortunately over the summer I’ve spent more time away from home then I have at home so haven’t had many opportunities to spend time setting trail cameras up at the sett or spend time sat there. However now I’m back at school, I have more time to do so.

The time I spent on Thursday evening on my patch was a bit surreal. Now, my patch isn’t the most interesting place in the world. It’s an area of woodland and farmland that is just on the outskirts of the city I live and backs onto a housing estate. Nevertheless it’s my patch and I enjoy spending time there so to find a badgers sett on it was one of the best moments ever! On Thursday night though, I set out with the intention to put my trail camera up quick then get home as it was already getting dark. Instead of walking through the woodland I decided to cut off onto the field which runs along side as visibility was getting very poor. As soon as I scrambled under the barbed wire fence and brushed myself down, a barn owl appeared in the sky above me. Amazing, the first time I’ve seen a barn owl on my patch for quite a while.

By the time I got to the top of the field and made my way into the woodland where the sett is, it was pretty dark. Whilst I glared at the tree trying to work out how I was going to sett my camera up, at the base something moved. A badger. It looked right at me. Two metres away. Our staring competition must of lasted about 30 seconds before it furiously smelt the air. This continued for about 4 minutes before it established it could relax. I stood solid. The animal sniffled around in the overgrowth around the sett then came back into my view. It was that relaxed it decided to have a wee before rolling over to scratch its belly.

This experience lasted about ten minutes before it casually returned down the sett. I continued to stand still for around five minutes, just encase it decided to return back to the surface. It didn’t so I quickly strapped my camera to the tree and trembled down the path whilst trying to be as invisible as possible. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Not until I got home and sat down did I get my heart rate back to normal.

I was up early yesterday morning to collect my camera. On my way to the sett  I spotted a Goldcrest. I don’t see them very often on my patch. Perhaps one of the first autumn visitors. I didn’t see very much on my way though. Not because it wasn’t there but because I was so eager to collect my trail camera. I do remember a Chiffchaff was still calling though!

Once I’d collected my trail camera this continued as I sprinted home, impatient to see what I’d recorded overnight. Even though I knew it would only be badgers, it was still very exciting. Are there more animals around compared to the last time I filmed them? Have I captured some interesting behaviour? What direction were the animals going off in?

Just my luck, the batteries had played up over night and only recorded five 30 second long videos. Still, I impatiently and randomly made my way through the clips. What was that? Polecat! A Polecat, I’d recorded a Polecat! I couldn’t believe it! A Polecat came into the frame, sniffed around then disappeared behind the left-hand side of the camera frame. This is the first time I’ve recorded one on my trail camera and recorded one on my patch. However I did know of them being in the area. In fact they have quite a healthy population. Quite a few times I’ve seen road casualties on nearby roads, plus I know local wildlife trail cammer’ Kate MacRae has also filmed them around her garden.

Why am I so excited to see that polecats are active on my patch though? Well only recently have Polecat populations began to increase which has resulted in them spreading across England, from Wales. North Wales was once the only stronghold of Polecats as up until the 1930s they were persecuted by gamekeepers due to being considered as a pest. So with numbers bouncing back, it’s important to celebrate a success story.

Here’s the video I got.

And a badger.

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The New Arrivals

As you may have seen from my latest blog last Friday night I filmed some badger cubs at a local sett for the first time this year. The Saturday before I had set my cameras up and there was no sign of any cubs so when I filmed them on the following Friday night that was obviously one of the first times they’d emerged from the sett this year.

I was very pleased with the footage as not only is it extremely cute but it shows a variety of behaviour. From the cubs playing and fighting with each other to a few clips of the adult badgers having a comical scratch. As I didn’t get back from the Badger Trust Seminar until late on Saturday I put my trail camera back up on Sunday evening then collected it before school the next morning. It was great to collect it before school as it was a fantastic start to the day due to it being a beautiful morning, there were swallows about and I was really excited to see what I got on my trail camera!

Once again it was good stuff. This time I’d put the camera lower down so the cubs were much more curious and I managed to get some great footage.

It’s also really interesting to compare my footage to that I got this time last year. A year ago, almost to the day, I filmed three cubs at the same sett so they were a bit later then this year but not much. You can see last years footage by clicking here.

Here’s some of my favourite clips from last weekend –

Twenty First Century Badgers

As I’ve been off for the last two weeks I’ve made the most of it and tried to get out as much as I can. Whether it be on my local patch, nature reserves or setting my trail camera up. Unfortunately I have some important exams approaching so I’ve had to make time to revise for them too.

However a few nights ago I returned back to a badgers sett which I hadn’t filmed at since last Autumn. This time last year I managed to film a few of the adults but it wasn’t until the end of the month when the cubs first appeared. When I collected my trail camera on Sunday morning it was pretty much the same, adults but no cubs yet. I set two cameras up, one of my normal ones that I use and a new one which my Dad has been working on recently. It works through something called a Raspberry Pi, not an actual pie but a type of computer. He then added the camera, motion detector and then printed out a case with his 3D printer. It’s very clever and it was great to try it out for the first time. Unfortunately It didn’t go completely to plan but he’s made some adjustments and we’re going to set it up again soon.

Here’s some of the footage I got. It includes badgers and a tree climbing rat. I hope to film the cubs in the upcoming weeks.

More local fox footage.

A few weeks back I set my trail camera up on an area of land which isn’t far from where I live for the first time. Unfortunately we didn’t get anything but when we set it up last week we managed to get some footage of a fox. We were thrilled by this so decided to set the camera up again this weekend.

When I collected my camera I noticed that all the food had gone which is always a good sign! Then when I got home I discovered that I had almost 30 minutes worth of fox footage and I’d filmed two different foxes. Back in the summer I filmed a fox family whilst on holiday and some cubs on my school field but this time I have filmed two adults. They seem to be in great condition and their bushy tails are beautiful! Here’s some of the footage.