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.
Garden Bunny The most fearless wild rabbit I have ever come across!
The last few days have seen rain, and more rain. The field was totally flooded. The field pond went from empty to full in the course of a couple of days. The leaking garden pond is almost full. Not seen such high levels for years. This rain has added to a water main leaking outside one of our neighbours since at least March. I did wonder why one of our field gateways had been damp during the summer. The water apparently flowed to her ménage, which is well drained, and then through the ménage land-drains to the gateway. Thankfully Thames Water have at last fixed the leak. This though is worthy of its own story.
The rain has again attracted the Little Egret, and flocks of gulls, who suddenly descend on the field as if it were the seashore. If I wanted a house by the sea I would not have bought a house which is probably as far away from the coast as you can get in the UK. Not only do we have these coastal birds visiting us, we now have Garden Bunny. Such a fearless animal sitting eating our grass for most of the day, totally ignoring us as we walk around the house & garden, and the tractor which came into the garden to cut the hedges. One worry is that Rosemary saw some baby bunnies the other day.
This Kestrel has been spotted 9 times feeding from our feeder. How many more birds it has taken without us seeing is anyone’s guess. It is so pretty, but so our are finches and blue tits! Nature is arguably cruel, and I suppose they have to feed, as we similarily eat those pretty lambs I took pictures of at the beginning of lockdown. Shame I can’t quite read the number on his ring.
The recent torrential rain has ended summer and attracted a Little Egret. The Little Egret could be seen wading around the field pulling up worms for breakfast. The Little Egret was large, so we thought we were lucky and had a Great Egret. Alas, beak, legs and feet show it to be a Little Egret, a far more common variety.
Life can be tough. This year we have seen masses of Goldfinch, at the same time there have been Magpies, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels, all feeding on the smaller birds. Most days there are piles of feathers around the garden and field where some bird has met its maker. While this Kestrel was feeding, the Goldfinch were still at their Niger seed.