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Thursday 23 February 2012

River survey for Trail Camera locations

Pools and falls in a defile at about 250 metres

I've been planning a camera survey of a mountain river bordered by a mix of farm land, forestry plantations and open hill. Yesterday I spent several hours in its middle section, looking for camera locations.

The river rises on the hill at a little over 400 meters, crosses the forest boundary at 300 meters and runs into the main river at 100 meters above sea level.

A number of tributaries and flushes increase its volume as it travels through a series of defiles, ravines, small oxbows and waterfalls.

The banks have, among others, a flora of Heath, Grass, Bilberry, Birch, Rowan, Scots Pine, Larch, Alder and away from the banks are plantations of Scots Pine, Larch, Norway and Sitka Spruce; with rough grassland at the river's lower end.

A pool at the bottom of a small rapid with what might
be an otter trail going down the bank to the water's edge
A well used deer trail parallels the river for most of its middle section with other trails going to river
crossings as well as in and out of the forest. In various places trees have fallen across the river which make potential crossings for cats and mustelids; and in one place a trail which looked typical of Otter going down into a pool.

I've recently had cameras out near the lower, middle section of the river and recorded Badger, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Buzzard, Jays and Hooded Crows.

I now plan to trap the whole section over the next three to four months, ever hoping to find evidence of the elusive Scottish Wildcat or as it is often referred to these days, the Highland Tiger.

Oxbow with fallen tree offering a potential river crossing.

Another tree bridge

Holes made by a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in a long dead, but still standing Scots Pine.

Wood ant nest which had been disturbed by some animal in the last few days. The grey zigzag up the centre of the
image is thousands of ants clustered tightly together.

Deer trail paralleling the river

A Badger dug out a Wasp nest last year and a small rodent, probably a Wood Mouse,
has used the hole as a hideout while eating seeds from Sitka Spruce cones.

This is a major river crossing used by deer with several trails
on both sides of the river converging.

Nearer the open hill this area of Heath and old Scots Pine looks more like the original forest, before
destruction by humans.

Sitka Spruce cone pulled apart by a Red Squirrel feeding on the seeds.

A scrape made by a Red Deer where it lay during the night.

Deer droppings.
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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.