Adventures with a camera trap

A while back a friend gave me a camera trap as a Christmas gift. I was surprised and excited to be given something so interesting and useful. I’d never considered actually buying one myself, so decided to give it a go!

My first outing with the trap wasn’t successful. I mounted the trap on a tree, pointing it at a badger sett. I left it a few days, returned, took it home and downloaded my findings! What I had was me setting the trap, taking the trap down and one very windy night where the Infra Red hadn’t worked. On closer inspection of the sett I wondered if it was indeed active anyway.

After a long period of disuse I took the trap out again recently after finding the fox den (see previous post for details). After setting the trap up pointing at a neighbouring hillside with another badger sett on I got no decent results again and wondered why. I mean I was seeing the foxes myself and that struck me as a location they’d go. There were tracks aplenty.

Naturally when pointing at the badger sett, the fox sat BEHIND the camera trap!

After some investigation at home I figured it out. This trap has a comedy script. A long time ago, The Goon Show on BBC Radio had a character called Eccles, played by the late Spike Milligan. During one episode, Eccles is recounting how he definitely knows the time because he has written it down on a piece of paper. To set the time on this trap, prior to switching it on, a text file has to be placed on to the SD card called time.txt! From now on, my trap is called Eccles!

So after figuring out Eccles’ penchant for time, I noticed it resetting to a date in 2015 whenever he was switched off, choosing on this last occasion to turn him on (steady) and just leave him on for a few days, having set the time to 10:00 prior to setting him up around that time.

Now that the time was correct, I got results and the IR worked, though only up til just after dusk. Nothing triggered the trap past around 10pm. The cubs often wander around the woods behind the den here so it’s possible they just didn’t pass, or Eccles needed a snooze.

What follows is the results of a successful couple of days of fox watching! The audio might be a bit quiet. Around the 25 second mark it’s very quiet then a loud ‘Twang!’ happens. That’s the fence the trap is mounted it on! I kept it in because it made me laugh. Quite why the greens are mostly pink I’ve no idea. But the whole point of a camera like this is to observe wildlife in my opinion. Eccles works and now I’ve found the start of what seems to be an actual badger sett. There are footprints and poo and everything!

Let’s see if Eccles remembers the time again shall we? I’ve written it on a piece of paper…

Head to the 1:53 mark if you want to skip to 2 fox cubs playing, if briefly. 😉

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