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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...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Bustle in the Hedgerow

Yesterday my cameratrap came from China after a 2 month wait. I was really excited and put the camera out last night to see who was still around. I was really disappointed when I got the camera in this morning to see that the camera had been triggered constantly. The same problem as it had when it was sent back. I tried the camera indoors hoping it was the wind false triggering it. The same problem occurred inside. I tried different batteries, nothing, different SD card, nothing. I suspect the camera I got back was my old one as the serial is the same. I would not recommend this product which is a keep guard.  

Anyway here are some images I captured with my SLR in the garden today. We have 2 families of robins in the garden and this was bound to lead to trouble. Today it did . One robin attacked another and an almighty scuffle ensued. They really went at each other. In the end they both survived and flew off. 

Peck to the face

Looks like he is about to slap him.

Flying kick
This looks to me like a rugby tackle.

Anyway don't buy a keep-guard camera. i am looking at other options now so will hopefully again be back camera-trapping soon.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Squirrel Feeder

A few weeks ago my dad and I built a feeder for the squirrel as he has already destroyed one of the bird feeders. The design is a simple box with a perspex front filled with peanuts. The lid is hinged so only the squirrels can open the box and all the peanuts are not taken by the birds. 

To get the squirrels used to the box the lid was left open. They still couldn't work that the box had food and just used it to climb to the bird feeders. So down came the bird feeders and they worked the box out straight away.
Below is a sequence of shots showing the squirrel using his food box.

Lifting the lid.

He really wants the food.
Eating his food

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Theres A Hedgehog On My Drive.

I havent updated here for about a week now as I have been, and still am busy preparing for a presentation I need to give for part of my course on Monday. I will resume normal service soon but I have a other presentation in May so there may be a slow down then too. Anyway onto this posts subject, a hedgehog.

Close up of spines
 When going out the other day I saw a hedgehog curled up by the bins that had been put out for collection. I left him there as the bin men were not due for a few days. By the time I got home he was gone. Yesterday when going for a walk he was on on the front driveway hunched under the gate.

Hind foot.

He was sitting on an ants nest maybe to clean himself in much the same way as jays do. He looked very comfortable and well.

Under the gate.
He allowed me to take these images before I left him rest in the sun. They are just emerging from winter here and this is the first I have seen all year.

Happy hog
You can see in the previous image his large front claws. These guys have a lot of defence against predators but not cars unfortunately.

Looking at the next image you can see how they are called "hogs". I have never noticed before but they do have a very pig like face especially when scrunching it up.

Hog face.
In other news I have had an email saying my cameratrap is on the way from china. It may take a few weeks to arrive but I cant wait. Expect the results of the camera up here.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Monkey World and Blashford Lake: Not An Expensive day

In my last post I complained about Brownsea island and the constant fees we needed to pay. Today comes the praise for monkey world. Unfortunately I didnt take my camera here so no photos of the monkeys and apes. There will be image of birds though.

The value for money: Monkey world. (link)

Monkey world for those of you who have not heard of it, it is a sanctuary carrying out work much like the born free foundation. The centre takes in mistreated monkeys and apes for circuses, zoos, pets, research labs and pretty much anywhere they are mistreated. All money donated goes straight to the monkeys and apes.

The primates are integrated into one of the many groups at the ceter. They are tried with a range of groups until they settle in with one. It is good to see that these poor primates can have a good life after being treated so badly.

Its very good value for money, just £11, less than most zoo's and the work done there is important. I would definitely recommend a visit.

The rest of the weekend: Blashford Lake: (link)

We also visited Blashford Lakes as we had heard of an osprey sighting there. We unfortunately did not see it but did see a range of water birds including an Egyptian goose. We didnt stay long due to the poor weather. There where lots of walks so hopefully I will go back and see some more.

Tufted Duck

Egyptian Goose


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Brownsea Island's Red Squirrels and Scouts: An Expensive Day.

Last week I was once again in Poole, Dorset for Easter. This week we had 2 goals, to see red squirrels, a new species for me, on Brownsea island and visit monkey world rescue centre.  One was worth the money while one was a rip off. Brownsea was the rip off although we saw a wide range of great wildlife. Monkey world was very good and worth the money. 

Red squirrel in a tree.

First the rip off story: Brownsea.
We looked on the internet site which said there was parking available but when we arrived the car park had changed allowing a maximum stay for 1 hour. Not very good for a place which needs a few hours to see. So we dropped my aunty and uncle off and drove to the next nearest car park about 10 minutes walk away. The cost was £10.50! We didn't pay and went back to pick my aunty and uncle up but as we arrived the where in the ticket queue. I jumped out the car and was faced with traffic boarding a ferry to Swanage so had to wait for it to pass. By this time it was too late and they had bought 4 tickets at £5.75 return so we went and paid for the car park.

A leaping red
We got on the boat for a 2 minute crossing to the sland. The staff where unfriendly and acted as if we owed them something. On the boat we where told that the price did not include entry to the island so we had to hand over £5.60 each. We went around and here are the positive points to the day. We spotted a spoonbill, unusual for the U.K. We also saw a firecrest displaying in bright orange "traffic cone" colours. We saw a dartford warbler, only my second sighting. And of course the red squirrels. We saw at least 2 maybe 3 as we lost sight of one for a while before spotting another.

Two red's
On the island was a separate reserve which we where not warned about until we got to the gate. This require a further entry fee which we didn't pay instead we carried on on the part we had paid for. Brownsea is the birthplace of the scout leader Baden-Powell. Unfortanetly if this is why you visited the island you will be disapointed. The building he was born has no public access and you can only just see the roof of it. In the Baden-Powell information centre the staff had no idea. We asked them simple questions and they couldn't answer so we left. On the back to the ferry a scout group was walking to the campsite except they didn't carry any equipment. This was put in a trailer behind a fire engine and transported to the camp for them. What Baden-Powell would think of this who knows but I don't think he would be happy.

All in all we saw what we went for and 3 other spottings which would be great on there own but it came at a very expensive cost. I would not recommend here unless you where very desperate to see a red squirrel. 

My next post will be about monkey world and the rest of the week. this post was longer than anticipated.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Wall Lizards: A Follow up to my Last Post

After yesterdays blog post on lizards I did some research. It seems that the green lizard I saw was indeed not a sand lizard. It is not even a native species in britain. It is an introduced species called a wall lizard (Podarcis muralis). It turns out dorset is a good place to see them and the beached area and chine we went to is on of the main sites for them. There are currently around 20,400 individuals in 46 sites around the uk. THis is a new species for me in the U.K which does not happen too often.

A distribution map can be seen here (link)

Also this post was written 20:12 hrs GMT on 1/4/12. I am trying an option to see how the "scheduling post" works .

Sunday, 1 April 2012

More Lizards

This last weekend I went back up to Poole again to carry on to the Chew Valley Bird fair. At the bird fair I tried out a few binoculars and was so impressed by the new Zeiss Conquest HD that I got a pair of the 10x42's.

Before the fair and still in the Poole area we took a walk down to one of the chines. A chine is a steep-sided river valley where the river flows through coastal cliffs to the sea. On the way down in the wooded area I noticed a lizard. He was much bigger than the sand lizards I had seen the other week on the cliffs (link). This one was also green. I don't know if this was a different species or just a different colouration of the sand lizard. Anyone know?

Not much else to report on with the camera still waiting to arrive.