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Three Foxes (A Camera Trap Post)

So here is a post based on what the blog is named after, a camera trap in Cornwall. I had a lot of chicken pieces left over from dinner and...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Boxer: The Boxing Day Fox

Last night was boxing day and we had another big meal and yes the camera stayed in place. We had the two cats appear, Tiny and a new fox who we have named after the day he appeared, Boxer.


As you can see from the last film Tiny now has a limp, not good as the illegal hunt comes this way on New Years Day.

Now onto the new fox Boxer. He is a big fox with a few distinctive black areas. 

 

He also has very long legs, almost like stilts and looks a little like the maned wolf. 



Bad news is he too has a limp like Tiny. Lets hope he survives too. 

All our foxes have deformities except for Rommel. Wonder why this is.


Monday, 26 December 2011

All Ears

Last night after a big christmas dinner there was the chicken carcass and a few other left overs promising to be a feast for the foxes (or rabbits as my aunty cant stop calling them for some reason). Hoping to get lots of visitors I fully charged the cameras batteries and put the camera out early.  When I went to collect the camera all the food had gone and I was looking forward to seeing who had been for christmas dinner.

The first shot was a great disappointment, it was the camera falling over. It landed facing at an odd angle.  The only shot that was captured was of a foxes ears and eyes. Looking at it it probably is Tiny, as he has both eyes so is not No-eyes or One-eye, and he is smaller than Rommel. 


I think Barney the cat annoyed that he didnt get a present off us and decided to push the camera over.

Anyway today is Boxing Day and that means another big meal. I hope the camera stays in place tonight and the foxes come for tea.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Funny Pied Crow

Another funny bird, a pied crow. Enjoy


Any suggestions for future birds?

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Out of Sync

Today I paid a visit to the bude marshes, a usual hotbed of bird activity this time of year. It all stated quite well with a tiny goldcrest appearing in a tree just inches from where I was standing. However going to the main lake the views where not so good, just a few small teal flocks, about 5-6 lapwing, and a small flock of widgeon. Usually the lake is filed with these species. We carried on around the marshes and saw a small flock of lapwing and oystercatcher.

The main marshland however was deserted, not a single bird on it, well one buzzard and 2 magpies. Usually there are so many migrant birds here that wherever you place your binoculars you are pretty much guaranteed to see a few birds. But nothing today.

Another oddity was fresh new shoots appearing within the marshes.

By now at this time of year redwings are everywhere but as yet I have yet to see a single one.

Nature seems to be a bit out of sync down here at the bottom of the country. What the rest of the U.K is like I don't know.

It will be interesting to see what the coming weeks and months bring our way.

Sorry for the lack of pictures but there was nothing to snap.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Fat for Tiny

Last night we had a really nice ham, one of the best I have tasted, for tea. With a ham there is always a lot of fat left over and you know who likes fat. Thats right, Tiny, just like the steak. He is less nervous now although he did have a bit of a jump to start with disappearing for a while. 


Once he had recovered his wits he decided to return, a good meal being to much to pass up. When he returned he gave us a good view of his tail. Nice and bushy and also in a similar shape to old One-eyes tail. This is what previously led me to think he is her son. 


He stayed for a good while eating his fair share before disappearing into the night. 


But as always a good meal is too good to lave and once he had let the first course go down returned for his seconds a few hours later. He was in such a rush to get back that he came bounding out of the grass to wolf his meal down. 



Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Mange is Back

Today while eating my breakfast I noticed what I thought was another cat. It turned out to my surprise to be a fox who hasn't been around since May time (link). By the time I had put my bowl down, got up, attached my lens to the camera he was gone. He is looking very well just a few signs of mange. His eyes still look a bit odd but it was definitely him. He had the distinct crooked tail. Hopefully he appears on the camera which lately has only been capturing the cat Barney. Sorry for the lack of images here. Better luck next time I hope.

Friday, 16 December 2011

An evening with Simon King

For the last few days I have once again been to Poole in Dorset. I took my camera and didn't take any photos due to the terrible weather. The main reason for going however was to see a talk by wildlife presenter and cameraman Simon King. I really like his work as does my Aunty so she and my uncle bought them-self, my mother and I tickets to go see him. This was by far the best talk I have been too. He was very funny, had lots of great tales and informative. He didn't hide how he felt on some issues such as the badger cull which annoyed some old grumpy farmers. He also gave me some ideas for future photography projects so stay tuned for some more unique angles and ideas here. After the talk he was kind enough to stick around and we had a talk to him getting his signature and a photo with him.

Me and Simon King

While away after taking with my family we have decided we want to set up a birding tour company in South Africa. If anyone has any resources, requirements, tips or information on this it would be much appreciated. Over the Christmas holidays my goal is to find out what is required and how feasible it is so stay tuned for future developments. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I.S.S Live

Right time for something new. I have no idea if you will be able to see this but I tested it and it works on my computer. It sort of fits the theme of the blog, but only just. It is science based, and sort of earth based. It is a live feed from the ISS orbiting the earth.

 I previously posted a NASA timelapse from here in a previous post (link). The live view is pretty cool but as it orbits the earth at 90 minutes, which seems incredibly fast, there are times that it is facing the dark side of the world. You can at times though see the lights of cities and such. Also you can hear any audio transmissions live from and to the station. I hope it works for you. Take a look below.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tiny Like's Steak

So Tiny likes steak. Last night I had a nice big steak for tea and this had a slice of fat on it which I don't like. I put this out along with some left over chicken to see who or what would appear would appear. I put the camera out, this time with a memory card in and retreated to a the nice warm house for the night. THe weather is not nice at the moment here and has been bad for a while so was not expecting much. However when I collected the camera I found over 130 videos of Tiny, not bad considering up until now his record is 6 videos in a night.


It appears the food we have been putting down must not of been his preferred food but steak it seems is his favourite. He stayed for 3 seperate half hour stints through the night with around 2 hours gap between each visit so he must have another food source somewhere. 





At one point he looked up at the night sky as if star gazing.  It made a nice shot, maybe he was looking at the moon which is close to full now.


He got so confident, a sudden change since his last visit, that he had a sit down and yawn and even took a lie down for a while too.





Although you can't see it in any of these videos he did take a lot of food. At one point he was collecting it and placing it all in a pile a little further away. I didn't add any as you would need to see a few and it would be boring compared to these other films. I hope he stays around. He is a nice healthy looking fox with 2 eyes and no problems yet. He looks like he may be quite a good character with a unique personality. 



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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Funny Bittern

Here, since there has not been much else to post is another funny bird. A bitten, or bittern.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

My Mistake

Last night after tea there was plenty of chicken bones for the foxes. So even though it was not nice out, hail and strong wind, I decided to put the camera out too. In my haste to be in the cold for as short as possible I forgot one major part of the camera trap, a memory card. So when I saw the food had gone this morning I was hopeful we would have more videos of Tiny or No-eyes. You can imagine my disappointment as I opened the trap to retrieve the card and found it not there. THe camera does have a small internal memory which allowed it to capture 6 films of Tiny coming and staying for more than just 2 films. However I cannot remember where the lead is for this to transfer directly from the trap to p.c. so you will have to take my word on it. Next time I will remember the important card.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

How No-eyes Survives, (Theory)

In my last post I wondered how No-eyes, the fox, had lasted so long as he is so large and looking healthy. He has no tapetum lucidum, the reflective layer that greatly aids with night vision in mammals. Us humans are also lacking in this layer. If you shine a torch in an animals eyes at night you can see this layer reflect back at you. Aim at a human however and we don't have this effect. 
Now back to No-eyes, he looks healthy but lacks this layer. Looking at the videos more closely you can see he does however have eyes. This makes his night vision like ours, and presumably his day vision is now similar having lost this layer. 
If you watch the videos of him feeding the trees at the bottom of the field are just visible against the sky. This indicates that it is no longer pitch black and starting to become dawn. I think that he must bee a daytime or crepuscular hunter. Crepuscular being dawn and dusk. When I first moved here I would often see a large fox sitting in one of the fields nearby. 
So he appears to be adapting to suit his condition. I hope he stays healthy and is able to avoid the horrible new years day hunt that takes place (illegally) around here. 


Here is the video again so you can see for yourself.



Friday, 2 December 2011

Another New Face

So we have a new fox, Tiny, and last night he came back briefly for some chicken. He is still a wary little fox but he is starting to make a regular appearance which is good.


Last night, well this morning, just before dawn looking at the timestamp and the fact that the trees are faintly outlined against the brightening sky, a new fox appeared. Now i thought Tiny wasn't that small in a previous post and my mother did. After seeing this new guy I stand corrected, Tiny appears as if he is a cub next to this guy.



I thought it was a dog at first glance but quickly realised it was a monster of a fox. He stands level with the camera and took a good share of the chicken. The next video shows the heat rising from his back.


Now on to naming this guy. While looking through the videos i though of long the lines Goliath or something similar. But then He raised his head and showed of a very distinctive feature. Take a look at what it is then guess what I named him. A hint is its a similar name to another of the foxes here.


As you may have noticed both his eyes are missing, but it is hard to tell so take a look at the first video again and see that the eyes don't reflect.. So in keeping with the fox with one eyes name of One-eye this new guy is called No-eyes. He does have eyes but no tapetum lucidum and calling him No-tapetum lucidum is a bit of a mouthful. How he has survived so long in such a good condition and to  such a size I don't know but lets hope he lives for some time yet. He doesn't seem to be suffering either with a good healthy coat. As he left he turned side on allowing his full immense size to be seen.


So two new foxes on the camera to keep watching and getting to know. Lets hope they stick around.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

BBC Photographer of the Month

I just picked up the December BBC wildlife magazine today and while flicking through the pages before reading it and one image stunned me. It was one of my own! In October I entered one of my shots from when I stuck the feeder on my lens (link). I recomend you by it as it has the most stunning image I have ever seen, but seriously it is a good issue featuring the results of the camera trapper of the year which links to the theme of the site.  Im pleased with this as you can expect but i'm not stopping there, soon I will be wildlife photographer of the year (hopefully). 

Here is the image I entered.