Please do not use "post comments" to ask for camera help and advice.
Use phone, Skype IM or eMail.

Monday 30 January 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210 MC and Bushnell 119467 - Review - Part 2

fig 1  Left: Acorn 6210  -  Right: Bushnell 119467

First impressions: Having been conditioned to the Peli case style box of many trail cameras, I initially thought the Ltl Acorn 5210 was a bit quirky; but having used them for a while, I found the design quite practical.

The first incarnation of the 6210 was basically the upgrades in the 5210 box. Then for reasons unknown, the manufacturers did a complete redesign of the whole package whilst keeping the front design almost unchanged but with a slight increase in width and depth.

Fig 2  Ltl Acorn 6210MC

It's likely that the need to accommodate the extra set of four batteries, coupled with a desire to move away from the detachable back sponsored the changes. Whatever the reasons, I couldn't help but be impressed with the ingenuity with which the designers put so much into such a small unit and kept the weight down as well.

From a user point of view, the smaller and lighter the better, and I also felt that, with its bottom opening door the Ltl Acorn 6210 was going to be a lot more weather proof than its predecessor; and all the other front opening trail cameras such as the Bushnell.

Fig 3
Water ingress of the
Ltl Acorn 6210 LED array

I then received the news that one of these cameras had water inside the LED array (Fig 3) after only a few days outdoors; which is a serious issue and not something I wanted to hear at this stage

It could most likely be an ineffective seal where the array mates to the inside of the case front; but

Wednesday 25 January 2012

New Ltl Acorn and Bushnell Trail Cameras - Review - Part 1

This is the start of a full review of these two cameras on behalf of Wildlife and Countryside Services and I will be posting my observations and results of camera performance over the next few weeks.

These wildlife trail cameras are the latest, top of the range models from Ltl Acorn and Bushnell and are very similar in specification. I will be directly comparing and trialling them under identical conditions.

They represent the very latest evolution in technical development of miniaturised, outdoor game cameras.

Bushnell Trophy Camera
Model: 119467 (internal viewer)

Size:  115mm x 160mm x 70mm
          4.5 x 6.3 x 2.75 inches
Weight: 320g (without batteries)

Ltl Acorn HD Video Series
Model:  6210MC (without MMS)

Size:  85mm x 141mm x 70mm
         3.3 x 5.6 x 2.75 inches
Weight: 245g (without batteries)

Ltl Acorn 6210M HD Video Series User Manual

Download manual
This is a pdf file of the user manual for the new Ltl Acorn Trail Camera Ltl 6210M which is now available.

I'm about to do a review of this camera and prior to its arrival I looked on the web for a copy of this manual without success; so I decided to produce my own.

There is a pdf user manual of the test series version of this camera but this is the up to date version. Useful if you're trying to make your mind up about a purchase.
Note: This camera is the real deal and not a clone.

Click here to view or download the manual

Bat Detector Reviews: Review: EM3 From Wildlife Acoustics Part 1 Of 3

The eagerly awaited review of the EM3
Review: The EM3 From Wildlife Acoustics (Part 1 Of 3) - Some preliminary thoughts, and first impressions -Well, it's finally here! The long-anticipated, new Echo Meter 3 from Wildlife Acoustics, Inc. is now available! I must state, first and foremost: That this new bat detector is revolutionary. It is the first hand-held, ultrasonic detector to feature a (live) sonogram display! 
I envision this feature being very welcomed by experienced hobbyists and Bat Workers/Researchers.
Besides being unprecedented, technologically advanced and scientifically useful - 

Bat Detector Reviews: Review: EM3 From Wildlife Acoustics Part 1 Of 3:

Monday 23 January 2012

Scottish Wildcat (Felis sylvestris grampia) at Highland Wildlife Park

Male wildcat
Female wildcat 
Male wildcat
Last week I made a visit to the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig near Kingussie
Female wildcat
Wildcat faeces

The Highland Wildlife Park was opened in 1972 and, along with Edinburgh Zoo, is run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (registered charity SC004064)

As part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Highland Wildlife Park is committed to promoting the conservation of threatened species and habitats; and it was in this context that I had asked Doug Richardson if I could visit their wildcats.

My contact with wild living cats has been limited to date, and I hoped that by spending some time with these cats, in their enclosure, I would get a better feel for their demeanour.

Wildcat faeces
The two cats pictured above are six and five years old respectively and although the male has a domestic cat genetic marker the female is believed to be pure. It was useful to be able to briefly study these cats close up, to photograph their markings and particularly, a couple of faecal samples (droppings) for reference.

My thanks to Doug Richardson (Animal collections manager) and David Barclay (Keeper) for making me welcome and for allowing me access to the wildcat enclosure.

Now for the hard work of finding them in the Glen Affric area.

I've seen one cat which was either pure or hybrid. Now all I've got to do is prove it.

Friday 20 January 2012

Two Roe Deer and a Fox at the birch log

Two Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) at the log this time. If you look carefully at the head of the first animal, you can just make out the buds of new antlers which make very rapid growth around the end of January.

The second animal could also be a buck but no clear view of its head.

Both of them pull at the brackets this time but they are still not to their liking.

This Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) also passed by, using the same trail as the hare and pine marten have previously.

Badgers raiding bait at remote camera site

These badgers cleaned out all the bait at this site over a four day period. I say badgers (plural) because I think it was different animal at the end of the clip on day three.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) found near Duror in Lochaber

Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) road kill at Duror, Lochaber.
I've just received a report from Juliet at the Highland Red Squirrel Group that the Grey Squirrel shown left was recently found near Duror in Lochaber.

Duror is in the Glendour Forest a few miles south of Ballachullish on the A828 Oban road and greys have apparently not been recorded in this area previously.

Anyone in this area is asked to watch for more greys and report any sightings to Juliet Robinson - Red Squirrel Conservation Officer Highland

Saturday 14 January 2012

Pine Marten raiding local bird feeder for meat balls

A neighbour asked me the other day, if I could set a camera to discover what was taking meat balls from their bird feeder. This was happening at night and my guess was it would be a Pine Marten (Martes martes)

Thursday 12 January 2012

Visitors at the Birch log

This Brown Hare (Lepus eropaeus) passes by every so often. It seems to be one of its regular trails

A Pine Marten (Martes martes) sitting on the log, scenting the air.

Still no feeding on the brackets apart from a couple of bites by the Roe Deer in the last post.

Friday 6 January 2012

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) at the Fungus site again

The Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) was browsing around the Birch Bracket log again yesterday and may have taken a bite from one of the brackets (see video) but still no sign of great interest. A hare also passed by during last night.

Wednesday 4 January 2012

New Books

I've just added these three books to the Reference Books page.

Published by the Highland Biological Recording Group

This is a reprint of a book first published in 1936

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Roe Deer investigating Birch Bracket Fungi

Just over a year ago I came across this Birch log with bracket fungi which were being eaten by animals unknown. At the time all the fruiting bodies had been reduced almost to a stump.

I left a camera over them on the off-chance that I would capture an image of whatever was responsible and although squirrel, badger and pine marten visited the log, none were observed feeding.

Visiting again this year I found many more fruiting bodies but so far, little evidence of feeding.

This time I seem to be ahead of the game so I set up another camera four days ago, in the hope that it will confirm what animal or animals are feeding on these brackets.

I checked the camera today for the first time and discovered that a roe deer had visited and sniffed at the fungi, but without feeding, a little over an hour before I arrived.

The camera is set to shoot a jpg file and then a thirty second video without a trigger delay. Left shows the deer heading to the log and two seconds later the video below shows it nosing at the fungi before moving away again.

Maybe the fungi are not quite right for eating yet or maybe its another animal responsible, but whichever, the camera will stay on site until I have an answer.

Monday 2 January 2012

Snow returns to the Highlands

Snow falling over Guisachan Farm today
Alders along a river above Hilton Lodge

 Will it stay or will it thaw again. I'm hoping for the right survey conditions.

Buzzard, Roe Deer, Hooded Crows and Jays at remote camera in Dec 2011

This is a video composite of activity at the remote camera referred to in the last two posts.
The time and date settings are not correctly set so please ignore them.

Hooded Crows and Jays at bait - Remote camera in mid December

Hooded Crows (Corvus corone cornix) - Moon phase, date and time are incorrect

Jays (Garrulus glandarius)   - Moon phase, date and time are incorrect   

Sunday 1 January 2012

Remote camera results for December 2011

Camera trap location 1
This year, although I'll still be surveying red squirrels, I'm also going to be setting camera traps through a cross section of the glen, in the hope of finding evidence of wildcat.

I've already seen a large cat hunting a hare which, although I couldn't verify this at the time, may well have been a hybrid if not a pure wildcat. I've also found other signs which suggest at least one large cat in this area and I'm eager to prove it one way or the other.

Sitka Spruce cone predation by Red Squirrel
The camera I've chosen to use is the Ltl Acorn 5210A 940nm and for the last couple of months I've been testing a number of these in different environmental conditions to get to know their operational parameters.

So far they're proving to be a good choice, not least because they're about half the price of any other comparable camera; and on my budget that's an important consideration. I'll post more about their performance at a later date.

Roe Deer
The location pictured above left is adjacent to a deer trail and I also noticed squirrel feeding signs close by, so I set two cameras, positioned at different angles across the trail. One covered the area where the squirrel had been feeding and the other covered a large stump, baited with meat and bone.

(I made a mistake with the menu settings on one camera so the moon, date and time info' is incorrect)

The images on the left and below show a selection of the results over a ten day period in December.

Common Buzzard 
Red Fox
The final tally was Chaffinch, Robin, Jay, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Roe Deer, Red Fox, Red Squirrel and Pine Marten.

The image of the Buzzard (left) is an enlargement from the centre of the frame.

The image of the Red Squirrel (bottom) is from the camera with the correct moon phase, date and time settings and it's worth noting that with shots like this, where the animal is moving quickly across the frame and close to the camera, I wouldn't normally expect to get a record; because the animal would be gone before the camera triggered.

I would hope that this is an indication of the effectiveness of the side prep sensors which, at this time, are unique to these cameras.

Both cameras were set to shoot firstly a still image and then video; and by the time the video started the squirrel was nowhere to be seen.

I'll post a video composite tomorrow as an example.

Red Squirrel

Rain, snow and a lot of water - Happy new year

My recollection of 2011 is going to be rain, snow, ice, mud and a lot of water. While the south of the UK has been worrying about drought, this part of the country has been suffering from a significant lack of sunshine.

Unlike the last two winters, which went straight to snow for long periods, this year the snow came a little earlier, stayed for a couple of weeks and now we're back to guess what. RAIN!

Still, at least the days are getting longer now. Happy new year.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.