Monday, 16 November 2009

Camera traps- good or bad?

A lot has been said on the net about the use of remotely fired cameras to obtain images, especially when the images have been entered into prestigious photography competitions. For the last couple of years, images that were taken when the photographers were not present, have won the Wildlife photographer of the year awards. Should they have won? Personally I think not. The skill & dedication of photographers that put in the hours, often in harsh conditions to get the shot, should get the credit they deserve.
Such automated techniques do have a place though. I have recently got hold of a wildlife spy camera, not for winning any competitions though. I plan to use it for reconnaissance. To scout areas, to see what is about & at what times of day or night. It will be invaluable for checking badger setts in the spring & save a lot of waiting around.
The model I have purchased is the 8MP version shown here:
Capable of taking colour stills & video in daylight or black & white in complete darkness, thanks to it’s built in infra-red LED flash. Images & video are stored on a SD card (not supplied) & can be viewed in situ on the 2.5" screen inside the waterproof case. A USB & TV connection lead are supplied along with an adjustable tree strap, rechargeable lithium ion battery & charger. Battery life as stated on the website is up to 2 weeks depending on activity. I have had the camera on site for about a week at the time of writing, only firing at night (approx 70 photos so far) & have not had to recharge yet. Quality of the infra-red jpegs are not great, but you can easily identify any creature that wanders in & fires the camera via the distance adjustable passive infra-red (PIR) trigger. Each photo or video has the date & time embedded enabling regular patterns to be found ready for an ambush with the D2X! That’s the plan anyway.......

Catching up...

During the last week, i have been able to get out & about a bit more as things return back, more or less, to normality. An afternoon at Catcott lows allowed me to catch up with the 3 long staying Glossy ibises that have made the SWT reserve home (for now).
One of the birds has a large leg ring that can be read from quite a distance, bearing the number "N4C". I have been told that this bird was ringed (or is it rung?) in Spain.

Other waterfowl present included these Wigeon, a species which although relatively common on the levels, i have very few images of. More to do with me ignoring the usual than through any difficulty! Also present were flocks of Lapwing, which lift at the slightest distubance from a percieved threat, in this case a Grey heron.

A later visit to Greylake RSPB reserve saw a few more Shoveller (top) & Teal (bottom) shots in the bag to bolster those files.

Monday, 2 November 2009

New beginings

Those of you that know me personally will know that my partner Lindsay was expecting a baby.

Well here she is, introducing Jessica kim. Born on 22nd October weiging in at 8lbs 8oz.