At the beginning of February 2018 I placed a trail camera in an area of untouched woodland located in the South of Dartmoor Natiaonal Park in England. This was a new experience for me and after a careful search I managed to find a suitable spot on a tree overlooking a rock and out into a worn looking clearing of woodland.

Trail camera

The owner of the land told me that there was a lot of Deer around so I thought this may be a good place to capture them. Well a month passed and in March I returned to retrieve the camera. The camera had been through a lot as the weather had been terrrible in South Devon with storm Emma bringing heavy settled snow and high windspeeds. Never the less I opened the camera and was shocked to find 678 files had been stored! With this in mind I took the camera home excitedly and analysed the video and photos. The next part of this post will be a breakdown of basically what wildlife the camera found within the month in the South Dartmoor area so please carry on and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Robin

The first sighting!! A cheeky little robin at night. Im quite impressed with the clarity of the infrared imagery.

deer

Aha some Fallow deer. The owner said they were around but he rarely sees the Stag . These guys are widespread across Europe and there coats lose all their spots in winter.

deer

I set the camera up to fire 3 photos then a 10 second video clip . I used a medium shutter speed as I wanted the photos to be crisper in low light but to get a better shot of a Deer in movement like this I would set a faster shutterspeed on the camera, which would sacrafice the quality of the low light images but make this shot alot crisper.

A cheeky Grey Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. A usual suspect and if you didnt know already the immigrant Grey Squirrel has displaced our Red squirrels in many parts of England and Wales

Grey Squirrel from Lucien Harris on Vimeo.

deer

A nice close up ofย  a female Fallow deer ,Dama dama.

deer

More Fallow deer! Just need a stag now.

pheasants

Oh of course the camera would catch Pheasants. They are released nearby for a local shoot.

Woodland mouse at night from Lucien Harris on Vimeo.

The infrared video at night on these trail cameras is great too. Fullscreen the vid and check out the little mouse on the rock in the right hand corner!

Great tit

This would of been an amazing picture of a Great Tit, Parus major. However the trail cameras are more for locating wildlife and cannot focus quick enough . Maybe if I set the camera to a faster shutter speed it may have captured a clearer image but its highly unlikely.

Stag Roe deer

This is what I was hoping for a Lovely Buck Fallow deer. There was a few pictures of the Male Deer Stags and on closer inspection I think there may have been 2 different ones.

Female Roe Deer close up from Lucien Harris on Vimeo.

A Couple more deer..

night fox

If you look closely you can see a Fox lurking past the rain

IMAG0517

A Redwing, Turdus iliacus. A small thrush which feeds on berries in the winter. Happy The camera could tolerate the extreme temperatures of Storm Emma though. Even though it only shows -1 degrees celcius here it got to double minus figures!

jay

A Jay in the snow, Garrulus glandarius. These are naturally quite shy birds so I was really pleased to capture this one on camera.

night stag

Stag Roe Deer from Lucien Harris on Vimeo.

Another Fallow deer Stag this time at night. This shows the deer are actively foraging all times of the day.

So thats pretty much it! Over the month the camera peformed incredibly and im really impressed! As spring is coming I shall definitely be looking for badger sets and fox dens to set the camera up at so keep your eyes peeled. I hope you enjoyed some South Dartmoor wildlife. For now I shall be uploading my sightings to ispot a really useful and easy to use rcording site which adds data of wildlife to a national database. In the meantime I willl leave you with these pictures and video of a mystery creature I captured. Possibly a fox but not sure! let me know your thoughts!

dartmoor beast IMAG0312 IMAG0313

If you fullscreen the video below and look in the background behind the hedges you can see the animal running past is it the beast of Dartmoor, a big cat like a Puma? who knows. Probably a fox ๐Ÿ™‚

Possible fox running in background from Lucien Harris on Vimeo.

 

 

 

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