Badger Attack trailcam footage

This IR footage of a badger in amazing close up was taken a few hundred metres from my house. It’s seriously cute.
Wearing headphones whilst watching is compulsory!

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Wild Cat and Fox size comparison

Wild Cat and Fox size comparison

A couple of nights back I caught this pair of predators on the trail cam (Redleaf 1000) quite some distance from the house on the forest edge. As can be seen by the vertical white streak in both images, part of the long grass I’d camouflaged the trail cam with got blown down over the lens. It was quite a heavy storm that night so it wasn’t surprising and this does seem to happen quite often….

On the right can vaguely be seen a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), and on the right a Wild Cat (Felis silvestris). Because of their relative positions, the large size of the Wild Cat can clearly be observed. That’s one scary pussy…

Pine Marten infra red trail cam

Pine Marten infra red trail cam

We get two types of Marten around the house, the Pine marten (Martes martes) and the Beech Marten (Martes foina); the one in my attic is the Beech Marten. I’ve been trying for years to get a photo of a Pine Marten – I often see them in the forest but by the time I’ve got my camera out of its case they’ve scarpered. I’ve got lots of footage of a dark blur disappearing into the distance.

I’m really getting into the setting of the trail cam in different locations. Locals here often ask me why I don’t hunt (I did when I was young but don’t anymore). For me, taking photos of animals is equivalent to shooting them except they get to live another day. Using a trail cam is very similar to setting a trap as it requires studying the environment and discerning tracks and other information – plus it doesn’t harm the animal. Some times all the signs are there – for example, last night I had the trail cam set up in a perfect wild boar latrine in the forest next to a dry creek bed, surrounded by game trails and wallows, but I caught nothing. The boar must have moved to a different location, for whatever reason. I ended up covered head to toe in bites, from ants, mosquitoes, fleas or some other bug, and both setting the camera up and retrieving it was a very nerve wracking experience because i didn’t know if a large boar would charge me from behind, but it’s quite an addictive adrenaline-filled activity. I’m already planning where to put it tonight – a few kilometres walk across meadow and then deep into the bush, choosing which height to set it at depending on what game i want to ‘trap’… good fun.

Young Red Fox

Young Red Fox

We have a new visitor to the garden – a young red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Unlike the manky, hairy old fox I chased out the other week, this one seems quite naive and obviously hasn’t been through a hunting season yet. Recently, Slovakia announced open season on all foxes and raccoon dogs in an attempt to curb their population growth. While foxes are cute, they are the number one cause of rabies in the area.

Wolf scat close to home

Wolf scat close to home

We went for a walk with the dog last night along the abandoned road close to my house in the village. A few hundred metres from home, as the crow flies, I came across this pile of wolf scat. Due to the inordinately hot weather we’ve been having it was too desiccated to calculate how long it had been there, but its size shows that it was a large wolf.

Interestingly, I always find wolf scat on the outside of the forest and never in it – wolves definitely mark their territorial boundaries.

This morning I found a nice small round hole in my leg where I’d obviously scratched a tick off in the night. With this heat, we’ll have loads of them this year.