Author Topic: Night Camera Traps  (Read 1274 times)

MarkT

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Night Camera Traps
« on: 21:29:30, 30/10/20 »
Has anyone got any experience of night camera traps?


After watching various wildlife programmes and often seeing night time footage or pictures of what happens at night in the woods, I was thinking I might want to try myself as I live near a country park with various wildlife living in it.


Looking on amazon you can get a suitable camera for under 100. I'm not asking for recommendations but just wandered if anyone else has bought one and had any success?





andybr

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #1 on: 09:53:51, 31/10/20 »
i got a cheap (30.00) trail camera back at the start of the lockdown to give me something to do and it quickly became quite addictive. It goes out in our suburban garden every night and I have never had a night without something to watch. The quality is not great but a bit of work with video editing software tidies things up a lot. I use Cyberlink Power Director and Colour Director but there are plenty of free alternatives if you do not want to spend a lot. Results have been great considering how cheap the camera was. This is an example:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyzr2GVpIl0&ab_channel=AndyBrown

fernman

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #2 on: 11:11:45, 31/10/20 »
Yes, I successfully used one at the beginning of this month. I've been feeding foxes in my back garden for a few years but both my wife and I recently saw a badger on separate occasions. This is quite remarkable considering we are in the suburbs well away from the countryside. The animal has taken over a disused foxes den close to the foot of my garden, from where it has access to a large grass area for earthworms in the grounds of a clubhouse.

So one of my sons borrowed a track cam from a wildlife trust volunteer he knows, and I fastened this to a clothes post with thick-rubber coated garden tying wire. The camera contains a large number, I can't remember now how many, of rechargeable AA batteries and it was just a matter of switching it on. You have to open the front of the cam for the switch, and I had been warned not to open the front too far because the wires go through the hinge. The cam came with a dual-purpose usb cable for charging and for connecting to a pc, but when I was ready I just pulled the sd card out and put it in my laptop. Similar cams are around 40+ on Amazon.

In just one night it recorded 104 video clips, starting with a squirrel at dusk and ending with a cat in the morning. Apart from an old man shuffling past and scattering dry dog food, cough, cough, the rest were mostly foxes but also the badger. The foxes were around from dusk tilll 20:00, the badger from 12:00 to 01:00, and then the foxes were back from 05:00 till 08:00.

The video clips are very short, b&w of course, with the time and date displayed, and they are in .avi format. Some of the people I sent them to couldn't play them on their phones, so I used online converters to change them to .mp4 and compress them.

It was a fun experiment but you will note that I only used it for one night, I saw all I wanted to in those 104 clips. I really think the novelty wouldn't take long to wear off, and for that reason I won't buy one.
 
« Last Edit: 11:15:01, 31/10/20 by fernman »

MarkT

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #3 on: 11:18:43, 31/10/20 »
Great footage Andy, the fox and badger are brilliant  O0

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #4 on: 11:55:59, 31/10/20 »
I might need to get a few of these. We have red squirrels in the trees at the back of the garden and occasionally on bird feeders. We feed some feral cats. They kindly share their food with various bird species, a fox, hedgehogs and sometimes a badger. One of my neighbours claims to have seen a pine marten at the rear of his garden and we have had a few roe deer on the lawn. It would be interesting to see what turns up when the sun goes down.

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #5 on: 20:50:42, 31/10/20 »
Have bought my mom one of these for christmas, she enjoys her photography, so it adds a different element to that hobby of hers.  Sounds quite promising from reading the posts on here.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

Birdman

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #6 on: 19:20:25, 01/11/20 »
i got a cheap (30.00) trail camera back at the start of the lockdown to give me something to do and it quickly became quite addictive. It goes out in our suburban garden every night and I have never had a night without something to watch. The quality is not great but a bit of work with video editing software tidies things up a lot. I use Cyberlink Power Director and Colour Director but there are plenty of free alternatives if you do not want to spend a lot. Results have been great considering how cheap the camera was. This is an example:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyzr2GVpIl0&ab_channel=AndyBrown


Great footage! So cool to see the pecking order. The Badger is King. They are known to kill hedgehogs with their sharp claws and they would defeat the fox too.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

MarkT

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #7 on: 14:12:36, 13/01/21 »
Santa did give me a night camera trap for Christmas and since then have had a few tries. First of all in the back garden getting a few birds. Then took it to my local country park. A nice 20 minute walk in the late afternoon before it gets dark and then returning at sunrise.





Ignore date and time, as the clock is running very fast. This picture was actually taken Boxing day. Having to send camera back for replacement.





I had to crop the pigeon picture as I hadn't allowed for the sun glare in the background. I also decided to remove date and time on the camera as it was so wrong. Then after taking it to the Country Park I managed to get a fox or 2.






I scattered a small amount of dog food to attract the fox with some success. (I did seek permission from the Park Ranger before I did this and providing I didn't over feed or do this everyday, she was happy for me to do it. But she did stress, if the camera got stolen, it was not their responsibility)





They may not be the best quality of pictures, I may look at editing them but some of the videos I've captured are much better. However, I'm just really enjoying going out looking at potential new places to set the camera up. Then the feeling of going to retrieve it the next morning fills me with excitement.


If anyone thinking of getting one, do it. It combines my love of walking with photography and I don't have to stand around for hours waiting for the animals. The work is being done whilst I'm fast asleep.

jimbob

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #8 on: 15:24:19, 13/01/21 »
My son has a few hidden around his small farm. He has shire horses and likes to keep an eye on them so his are connected up to a wireless network that goes to a hard drive hidden in the stable and also to his phone. He has seen all sorts of wildlife and on one occasion, caught images of some lampers which is currently being used in a prosecution.

One thing to be aware of is that you cannot publish any identifying shots of humans, no matter what they are doing. If they are up to no good you can hand the footage over to the police. My son was told that even though he was using the cameras to watch his horses and lambs he should have put a camera in use notice at the entry gates to his fields that adjoin public rights of way.
Too little, too late, too bad......

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #9 on: 15:58:09, 13/01/21 »
Still waiting to capture anything on the one i bought my mom.  She is having an animal or other visit her garden as it keeps leaving "presents" on her lawn.  Probably a fox but it must have a camera detector as its managed to keep its privacy so far.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

MarkT

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #10 on: 16:20:03, 13/01/21 »
Thanks for the heads up Jimbob, I haven't captured any humans yet on camera but do have footage of a dog sniffing around an area where i captured a fox having a poo! If I was to get any human activity, I wouldn't publish it, maybe report it to the police or the ranger if they were up to no good as you suggest.


Still waiting to capture anything on the one i bought my mom.  She is having an animal or other visit her garden as it keeps leaving "presents" on her lawn.  Probably a fox but it must have a camera detector as its managed to keep its privacy so far.


I have tried putting my camera low to the ground around trees and higher up. with the lower position producing better results. I noticed after one attempt that the tree I was using to attach the camera was leaning back, so my camera was pointing slightly up. This meant any wildlife passing was going under the camera and didn't record anything. My camera apparently has a 120 degree view but doesnt state how high or low it captures. All part of the fun trying out different positions and different areas.


The local ranger also told me Badgers are in the woods but wouldn't say where but would be great if I managed to get one of those.

Birdman

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #11 on: 17:12:40, 13/01/21 »
It works well MarkT! It is really cool to see what is lurking around. I was thinking about buying a cameratrap myself but it has to wait a bit longer. Smiley
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #12 on: 22:19:47, 13/01/21 »
I think yours is working great now Mark, some good pictures for a start off.  I'll mention your tip on angles to my mom and see if thats the trouble with the stealthy fox.


Birdman, im really surprised you havent got one already, love seeing the photos you put up on here they are absolutely superb.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

Birdman

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #13 on: 08:31:24, 14/01/21 »
I think yours is working great now Mark, some good pictures for a start off.  I'll mention your tip on angles to my mom and see if thats the trouble with the stealthy fox.


Birdman, im really surprised you havent got one already, love seeing the photos you put up on here they are absolutely superb.


Thanks! No camera traps yet, but some years ago I spent many hours monitoring the Blue Tits in my nestbox and recorded many videos and kept a blog about it. That blog was just intended as a personal archive, but one of the videos went viral on YouTube and got more than 11 million (!) views to date:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkwLgHGGzFw


That old Blue Tit blog is here: https://wildlifeinmygarden.blogspot.com/
I don't maintain it anymore but it is still a good archive
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Night Camera Traps
« Reply #14 on: 08:51:31, 14/01/21 »
i shall have a look at those later, i have a couple of camera boxes in my garden also, they are brilliant. Great watching the way the blue tits get rid of the 'waste' they create in little parcels, clever creatures they are.


One of my time fillers during shielding lockdown has been making normal birdboxes, i have 37 up in the garden at the moment which have attracted flocks of sparrows, but have given twice that number away. 


I need Boris to let me out soon!
one step then another then another then a bench - please?