Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Things that go bump in the night

Last week my trail cams batteries ran down. When I installed a new set the settings of the camera were reset meaning that the shots taken were single JPEG pictures this is not necessarily a problem, in fact, the photos actually give excellent quality shots of the animals captured by the camera.


However, I choose to take video clips as they help in identifying the species. You can pick up a lot about a species by how it moves and there is more chance of seeing other parts of the body as it moves through the field of view. This would have been immensely useful for two of this week's
shots.

Unknown Number 1: The Black Sausage

This shot shows a long thin mammal in the top right. I can say clearly what is not - it is not a badger, a fox, a deer. It is too big for any of the rodents, weasel or stoats. It could be a Mink or it could be a second visit for the elusive Polecat, either way, this shot is not good enough to say either way.

Unknown Number 2 - The Giant Rat


In this second shot, a mammal can be seen in the bottom right. The eye shine shows a pair of eyes forward facing and close-set. There is subtle evidence of a thin hairless tail. It seems to have larger hindquarters, my working assumption is that this could be a large rat, similar individuals have been seen occasionally over the years.

At the weekend I readjusted the camera to a hybrid setting which takes video and photos and hopefully both mammals will decide to show themselves again and be identified.