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roobarb

Camera traps/trail cameras

Not sure if this is the right section to put this query in, but I guess people who are interested in the environment may be able to help...

I'm thinking of getting the OH a camera trap for Xmas (although in reality it would be joint present as I'm quite interested as well Wink ). They seem to range wildly in price from around 100 to anything over. Any advice from anyone who has got one as to what to buy, what to look for when buying, and what to avoid?

We would like to see what is visiting our garden at night, so night vision is important. Do they all come with sound, or is that an optional extra? Have looked on Amazon etc. and when I think I've come across one that looks okay, a scroll through the reviews shows up various faults and issues with many of them, particularly the reaction speed for sensing something to actually taking a picture/video.

Thanks
dpack

the one bodger uses takes pretty good N V photos
Bodger

I've had my Bushnell trail cam for a few years now and I can really recommend it. You can set it to take three still photos, or a short video and then down load your captures onto the computer.
Mistress Rose

We have a Bushnell camera that we got from a company called Naturespy. It contains a chip which we can take out and download onto the computer and takes stills and short videos. It uses standard AA batteries. Pictures are colour during the day and black and white as it uses IR at night.

We have it mainly as a security camera, but we see quite a lot of wildlife crossing the yard particularly at night. We have found it works quite well, and no major problems.
Treacodactyl

They start at less than 100 from Aldi and Lidl, if they get them in before Christmas.

I would start by looking at some of the trail cam review sites, mostly in the US and many seem to sell them so are not going to be that unbiased but a place to start. They will list trigger and recovery times.

Many don't record sound, I would guess they will be more expensive. I would also try and get a good image resolution as once you get over the excitement of seeing animals you start to wonder if it's the same animal visiting each night so better image quality is useful.
buzzy

I use Ltl Acorns, which I get from the South American river site. They are between 80 to 90. They take quite good pictures, though sometimes you have to tweak the exposure. The previous one to the two I have now lasted two years and then stopped working after taking a picture every 15 seconds till the battery ran out (I didn't ask it to do that), but since it had been outside permanently for that two years, I was not too bothered. When I have time I'll put up some pictures, but Jaki came home from hospital yesterday so it won't be right away.

Henry
roobarb

Thanks all. I will check out the ones you have suggested. Bushnell seem to do a range of cameras, and I guess it boils down to what we want the camera to do, and how much we're willing to pay.
Mistress Rose

I think so. The Bushnell we have gives good clear pictures, useful as we have it mainly as a security camera. If animals come through when it is light, I think you would be able to identify individual animals. There is sound on it too.
Bodger

I've had some brilliant colour photos of my ducks when I've forgotten to switch it off before letting them out. Very clear pictures indeed.
buzzy

Here is one from one of my cameras:




This Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) appeared on the first night I put the new camera out. I had not seen one in the garden before, though they have been nearby.

Not all the pictures are as good as this one. The image is slightly cropped and edited for contrast/gamma.

Will post some more later when I can.

Henry
dpack

really nice photo, considering it is from a auto snap camera with a bit of tweaking it is a very good looking image

( i tweak most of my" for show" snaps even from a camera that is pre adjusted at button press for lighting conditions ,contrasts etc etc )
Mistress Rose

Nice picture Buzzy.
SteveP

Re: Camera traps/trail cameras

We would like to see what is visiting our garden at night


If it is two legged visitors then you need one with a sim card that sends the pic to you as soon as it is taken.
Mistress Rose

We had some 2 legged visitors, which is why we have our camera. They would have been easily identifiable from the pictures, which we gave to the police, but they weren't known to them. Didn't take anything but had a look around in a few places. In some ways it is better to just identify them as some can be a bit nasty.
wellington womble

I'm reasonably certain I also had some two legged visitors on Saturday night. Nothing taken, I don't think, but I'm sure I didn't leave the garage open, and I heard a lot of dragging noises in the night (at least partly due to wind, but not entirely I don't think)

Roughly how long do the batteries last?
Bodger

For ages.
buzzy

I'm reasonably certain I also had some two legged visitors on Saturday night. Nothing taken, I don't think, but I'm sure I didn't leave the garage open, and I heard a lot of dragging noises in the night (at least partly due to wind, but not entirely I don't think)

Roughly how long do the batteries last?


The battery life depends on the type of battery and the number of pictures/videos taken, and on the machine as well. Probably on the individual machine as well as the model/manufacture. There may be other factors as well.

I use Duracell ultra power in my Ltl Acorns, and they last months, though at the end of battery life they seem to stop taking pictures at night, though they do continue to take during the day. If continuity is important, you need to check regularly. Some say you get better life with rechargeable batteries, but I have not tried those. You can put eight AAs in my Ltl Acorns, but I'm not doing that at the moment.That gives you longer picture taking sessions.

Henry
wellington womble

Sorry should have been more specific. I meant hours/days/weeks. Months is entirely practical.

I'm really not sure if there was someone in the garage or not. I'd swear I heard metallic dragging sounds, but the house has an archway that echoes and makes it hard to identify directions. There were recycling bins all over the place by the morning, so it could have been that. But the door was ajar, which I'd swear it wasn't before and there was water so far into the garage it must have been open, although I never heard it open or close. It screeches terribly, so I'd expect to have heard it. My tractor, mower and brush cutter were still there and neither of the gates were broken. Couldn't see a thing, and couldn't go out to check anyway.

So it would appear someone got in, moved noisy, heavy stuff around, put it back again, closed the noisy door, ignored expensive, nickable stuff, some portable, and left. Why would they do that? Unless they were planning on coming back with a vehicle and hoped to be unoticed in all the wind noise. I've left mums car parked in front of the doors so you can't open them. I've ordered solar security lights and those hinged bollard thingies. I don't suppose the lights will deter anyone very much, but the bollards ought to help.
Mistress Rose

We have a trail camera in the woods and it lasts several months on one set of batteries, but as Buzzy says, depends on the battery and how much the camera turns on.

If you can lock your garage, with a padlock and chain if necessary, and otherwise with a sensible key that everyone else doesn't have, it is an advantage WW. It isn't usual for people to take everything out and then put it back, so perhaps you heard the bins moving but someone did take a look in your garage. It isn't unknown for a 'scouting party' to go out and come back a little later to take things away. If you have a lot of things in there the police have a scheme for registering equipment so if it is stolen identification numbers can be accessed if odd things are found. The local police often know who to go to see if there are any thefts.
wellington womble

Most of it isn't mine and I wish somebody would take it away! However, the tractor, mower and brushcutter are and I'm sure would be more desirable than all the junk I don't own.

I don't think the doors can be locked with a padlock (they're up and over garage doors). I've ordered some hinged bollards to go in front of them, although I suspect I'll need to get someone in to fit them. I'm tempted to hang a very large bell on the inside so it rings if you open it (like a shop door) at least I wouldn't be laying awake wondering about it!
Mistress Rose

That's not a bad idea. Not only would it alert you, but it might scare off any would be intruders. We have a locking post on the track into the wood and that had to be installed with concrete under it. buzzy

Here is a night time picture of a Muntjac buck. Often the night pictures are blurred if the subject is moving too fast. And there are always lots of blanks - I assume small creatures moving quicker through the field of view than the camera can react.




Henry
dpack

nice snap,i always think muntjacs are really odd looking beasts when i get a glimpse of one. a bit as though geiger designed deer Laughing Mistress Rose

Good for a night time picture Henry. We have some quite good pictures of deer and hares and 1 fox I think. There was also one picture of eyes in the distance, but no idea whether it was fox or badger. buzzy

Here's what the camera trap can do all by itself:




Jaki and me taking the dogs for a walk. Mr D'Arcy needs to be on a lead, or else he goes hurtling off on his own. Hollie and Snowbelle tend to follow steadily behind.

I doubt we could have posed it better!

Henry
Hairyloon

Frustrating visit to Aldi today, spotted in their cabinet a card saying: "Wildlife Camera reduced to 13.99" sat there all alone... buzzy

Frustrating visit to Aldi today, spotted in their cabinet a card saying: "Wildlife Camera reduced to 13.99" sat there all alone...

It's a b*mm*r when those really good offers disappear off the shelves before you get there, isn't it? And I've heard good reports of Aldi Wildlife cameras. Crying or Very sad

Henry
yummersetter

Even more so when there are no Aldi stores in the area. Hairyloon

Frustrating visit to Aldi today, spotted in their cabinet a card saying: "Wildlife Camera reduced to 13.99" sat there all alone...

It's a b*mm*r when those really good offers disappear off the shelves before you get there, isn't it? And I've heard good reports of Aldi Wildlife cameras. Crying or Very sad

It's worse when they knock something down to a really good offer, tempt you to buy it and a week or two after you've bought it knock it down to half price to clear the last few, like they did with the air-compressors. Sad
Treacodactyl

Even more so when there are no Aldi stores in the area.

You can now buy Aldi's special buys online, with free delivery.
Bodger

I've just reset my fox trap. Last night, something tried to dig under the back of it to get at the bait and set it off. Trail cam also set to keep an eye on tonights proceedings. buzzy

Did anything come of that, Bodger?

Picked up the last Wildlife camera in Lidl's yesterday for 80, Not that I really need another but thought I should try something other than the Ltl Acorns that I've been using until now. So this is research, right? Wink

I've selected where it's going to go, will put it out later and I hope in a few days I will have some pictures worth showing.

Henry
roobarb

As the person that started this thread, thought I would provide an update. I ended up getting a camera trap for my birthday rather than Christmas (Bushnell Trophy Cam HD from NatureSpy)...OH did a lot of research and spoke to people at NatureSpy, and decided this was the one to get.

I've had it up around the garden and to start with got nothing, other than the odd small bird and us walking by. But having relocated it to various parts of our garden and field, I'm slowly building up a portfolio of animals and birds which are visiting us without us knowing! Foxes, rabbits, pheasant and most recently a hedgehog, which I'm most happy to see. Very Happy The rabbit we knew about as it's started to make its home in our polytunnel Evil or Very Mad

Here's a link to the hedgehog caught on camera the other night. The same camera position also caught a fox and rabbit in the same place.

https://youtu.be/eBtCJbr-8PQ
buzzy

Excellent! I know there are hedgehogs about, but have yet to capture one on the wildlife camera. Perhaps the new one will do the job - I must download it soon.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Good pictures. It is less obvious in gardens, but in the woods we get distinct paths that are used by certain animals, usually badgers. You can tell they are animal paths because they go under very low branches. From the sounds of it several different animals are using a similar path in your land. wellington womble

I have a number of distinct paths. This is partly because I am a bit lazy about mowing, though! buzzy

The second wildlife picture that the new camera took:




A female Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) getting a bit close to the camera Smile .

Other wildlife in the first three days have been a Grey Squirrel and a Wood Pigeon, Plus pictures of me going up and down the drive for the post and the milk.

I'm quite pleased with the results so far - but if I get something new I will be extra pleased. Watch this space!

Henry
Mistress Rose

From those pictures the muntjac look quite like wild boar. I haven't seen any, and we don't have any evidence of large numbers in the woods, although it is possible that the odd one has been spotted. Long may that last.
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