In an attempt to get closer to wildlife, volunteers at the Montrose Basin Visitor Reserve have set a series of camera traps. A camera trap captures motion up to a distance of 10 metres, in day or night. The aim is to get an insight into the behaviour of wildlife around the basin, closer than usually achievable in person. Attempts were made in two separate locations, using different methods for each. The results of which highlighted certain dos and don’ts for subsequent traps.
Attempt number one was a success. Hidden within a large bush, the trap’s field of vision was open but sheltered. Furthermore, the trap was close to the ground, with bait (seeds) scattered in front of it. After a week the camera was recovered, and footage reviewed. It was found that after three days of recording, the memory card was completely full – there was a LOT of activity. As shown in the video (link below), among those captured were – pheasants, blackbirds, robins, mice, rabbits, blue tits and more. The abundance of activity was due to the plentiful supply of food, and the calm conditions below the shelter of the shrubbery.
Capture video: https://youtu.be/LBse7AOXRjc
Unfortunately, attempt number two was extremely unsuccessful. Why the method leading to the success of the first attempt was not followed in the second is beyond this author, even though he was the trapper. The second location was far more open and lacked any sufficient shelter. The only trigger of activation was the tree to which the camera was attached. The tree waved ferociously in the winter winds, as did trees in the field of vision. Among the errors, the second location wasn’t as strategically placed as the first. This attempt was more ad-hoc and opportunistic.
- Capture in shelter
- Provide bait
- Set up in areas of known activity (animal wise)
Going forward, the camera has been located in accordance to the above lessons. Watch this space for some more Montrose Basin action!
Benedict Murray, Visitor Centre Assistant