The same Compost Heap, different rabbit hole. Tonight we were visited by the cute Polecat, a member of the Mustelid family. The Polecat rolled around the ground where a rabbit had been digging. Was it trying to disguise its scent? The previous night was a mystery, the camera failed to operate for some reason.
We have recently been wondering where all the rabbits had gone. Over Summer the grassland around our house had been inundated with rabbits. Since the autumn the number of rabbits has reduced. Even Garden Bunny who I reported on in October has vanished. A tasty morsel for the Polecat, or Mr Fox?
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.
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.
A Buzzard visited our garden, sitting on the fence between the paddock and the garden. As I approached, the bird flew off and sat on the fence further into the paddock. It then flew into the next door field. In the process the Buzzard was mobbed by the Red Kites. A bit of a change, the Red Kites themselves are normally mobbed by the Jackdaws and Rooks.
Summer is over, though the last few weeks have been sunny and hot. Why do I declare summer over? The bird feeders have been erected, 50 kilos of sunflower hearts, 25 kilos of peanuts and 25 kilos of Niger seed have to be eaten this winter. Start eating, birds, I need the space back.