Another night and the same compost heap, but a different set of starring animals. The Rabbits and Mouse appeared and hogged the camera. They made a hasty getaway when the starring animals appeared, a Fox and a Polecat. The Polecat appeared out of the rabbit hole, and later at the end can be seen rushing back in. The Fox stood and looked at the camera. The later images are poor because of a light frost covering on the lens.
Fox and Badger in the Compost Heap
Rosemary has her Christmas present, which I am making good use of. It is a Bushnell Trail Cam, designed to scout out your land for wildlife. (I believe the intention of the American manufacturer is you see what there is, and then using one of their rifles, shoot it.)
The camera can take video and still pictures. At night in black and white, and during the day in colour. There is a motion detector which activates the device when a warm body enters the scene. This picks up birds, mice and larger mammals. Unfortunately, there is no filter to remove the numerous images and videos of rabbits.
My first test was a disaster, mounted the camera too high, looking down the garden. All it picked up was me when I was setting it, testing it and coming back to retrieve it. Our next test on Sunday night was by the compost heap during Storm Bella. Here we picked up some rabbits, and a badger investigating the rabbit hole. The following day, it picked up some birds during the day, and the badger during the night (and rabbits). The badger did seem interested in the camera, I can only think it could see the low glow LED lights. Last night I took still images and not video, this time a fox visited. No badger to be seen.
- Numerous rabbits
- Rodent (Rosemary hopes not a rat)
Waddesdon Manor Christmas Lights
We visited Waddesdon Manor to see the lights. Because of Covid 19, the house was not open and everyone was encouraged to walk up to the manor instead of taking the bus. The encouragement was a financial incentive. Unfortunately, it was a damp evening with a light drizzle. As the daylight dimmed, the lights grew brighter.
There was the Christmas market set up in front of the house. I didn’t visit the area, instead, I walked around the lights before and after dark.
We both were a little underwhelmed by the light effects. There have been better. I particularly liked the Bruce Munroe lights back in 2015. We both thought Waddesdon Manor was allowing far too many people onto the site. There was a large queue of people trying to get in with their timed tickets. Around some of the lights, social distancing seems to have been thrown out of the window. Some limitations on the number of people viewing the lights at one time should have been in place. No wonder Buckinghamshire is heading to Tier 3. (update on 19 December it entered Tier 3).
The walk down to the Stables needs to be planned, I would not recommend taking the path through the playground. It is narrow and there is two-way traffic. Instead walk down the road, dodging the busses. It remains to be seen whether this event becomes a Christmas superspreader.
The main set was a 3 minute light show set to the music of Handel Water Music: Hornpipe. On the loop around the grounds, there were several other areas laid out with light effects. Some elephants standing by the pathway were pretty cool. I am not sure about the lighting of the house, this didn’t seem as spectacular as usual. Normally the trees to the side of the driveway are lit up. This year they were not, possibly because of the Christmas market.