Trail cam update

You may have been wondering what’s been happening with the trail cam I got for Christmas. Well, firstly the batteries gave out after only 3 days. This may have been partly due to the sub-zero temperatures, partly the quality of the batteries and partly due to the camera taking numerous (apparently blank) videos. My conclusion is that the field of ‘vision’ of the movement sensor is much wider than that of the camera, so it is continuing to record things which are off camera. (I have plenty of clips with bums just about visible in the corners).

Next, you may recall I went for a walk without a memory card in my camera – because I’d put the SD card in the trail cam. Well, I bought a new SD card and formatted it using the trail cam, but it didn’t seem to work. The next 2 days drew blanks – even though there were clear signs of activity in the snow. It didn’t actually recognise the SD card, so I swapped it with another from my camera and now everything seems to be working OK. (You’ll be glad to know that after re-formatting the new SD card, it is also working fine in my camera).

In between times I had been tinkering with some settings, which also seemed to mess things up, so now I’m down to a simple, 15 second video with 20 second pause in between, though the camera is meant to carry on recording for a short while if there is activity in the last 4 seconds. (The manual talks about a Dynamic setting, which my device doesn’t seem to have!)

Anyhow, below are 3 of the best videos, with the last two having 3 clips stitched together.

First up is a roe deer, which came around 6:30pm a few days ago now and you can see the tree to which the Trail cam is attached for the second two videos.

Second, here’s a huge stag, again from 2 or 3 days ago, which was timed at 10:15pm, tucking into some vegetable scraps we left outside.

Last, but not least, is another roe deer, (could even be the same one as above), again timed at 6:30pm yesterday evening. You can see how alert it is to any surrounding noises, with the ears acting like radar scanners.

It may also be worth saying that we live only about 100 metres above the road which goes around the village, though the woods are not far behind our group of 6 or 7 chalets. So these creatures are coming down quite low to find food. Indeed, 2 of our neighbour’s young trees have had their lower branches nipped off completely.

And, just in case you wonder what the light is, which appears towards the end of this video (top left), it’s not a plane or UFO, but the piste machine preparing the ski slopes above Lannaz. 🏂

13 thoughts on “Trail cam update

    • It may well make a low noise but I certainly cannot hear it. I thought there might be a light too, but no, there’s nothing really to give it away. I think the stags are hearing noises around and about. It may even be us in the chalet at those times in the evening. Though it was back last night 3 times, staying for around 20 minutes, twice. So now I have about 25 good videos of it!

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  1. Have had similar problems here with trail cams – blanks and partials on the edge of the frame. And some creatures look at the lens – particularly badgers – with great suspicion before running off. They sometimes sniff the air around the camera. Perhaps they get a whiff of human scent? Got a brief video of a tawny owl that had landed on what I think was a rat – something furry was struggling in its talons. As soon as the infra red clicked on the owl looked into the lens with alarm, and flew off with its prey pretty quickly afterwards. Made me wonder whether some animals have some kind of infra red vision – would make sense for the more nocturnal ones. But generally have come to the conclusion that the setting that’s right for one occasion is the setting that’s wrong for another. And that’s just the way it is with unpredictable animals. There will always be blanks. Have never captured anything the size of that stag though. An impressive creature. Nice to see that delicate roe deer picking her way through the snow as well. Beautiful creatures.

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    • Many thanks for your comments David. I’m not sure there is any ‘light’ or anything on mine (not that I’ve noticed anyway). They seem more concerned with the noises around and about. I got quite a few more clips last night of the same stag which hung around for more than 20 minutes, twice – quite early in the morning. I have thought about placing it in the woods behind, but obviously concerned someone might run off with it! Though I was caught on one the other day – taking that picture of the saucepan! And I have seen notices saying cameras are deployed.

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      • The cameras we have seem to have an infrared light that comes on when there isn’t enough daylight to get a picture and then the pictures are in black and white. They also takes pictures with normal light during the day which are in colour. And then at twilight it seems to take better quality black and white pictures – maybe a bit of both? Not sure. The way the deer’s eyes light up in your videos suggests – I think, not an expert – that you may have an infrared light incorporated in your camera, unless they’re picking up light from the house. Whatever, hours of fun and experimentation!

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        • Yes, I’m pretty sure it has some form of Infrared ‘light’ but I’ve never seen anything light up as such. Even when I’ve been out to test that it was working I looked but didn’t see anything. But. like yours, it takes colour during the day and the monochrome that you’ve seen at night. I’ll maybe take a closer look next time I go out with it.

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    • Yes, we have seen them occasionally, so we knew they came and we were sure it was the stag(s) who destroyed our bird feeder. One summer, during the day, we saw a family of 3 roe deer running down our grassy drive. Plus, I have managed to capture them on camera occasionally during my walks nearby.


  2. Pingback: Let me tell you story… | Alittlebitoutoffocus

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