Monday, 9 March 2015

Night-time trail camera - Otter part 1

At last some success in capturing a night-time otter photo with the trail camera.  Since seeing the otters on the ice at Big Waters I have been trying to get otter pictures in the dark.  It has taken more than a dozen nights to get these few photos.  The otters move quickly and I can see on the videos that they are perhaps more aware of the flash for the colour pictures than are the fox or the badger.  Obviously the infrared photos don't bother them.  I think these first photos are of the mother.  Size is difficult to assess here but I think she has a higher back and more perfect shape.

And I think this is the cub with a proportionately larger head.

On at least half the nights there was no otter activity at all - I suppose they were somewhere else.  There have also been quite a few near misses.  This was the first photo I got - at least it was evidence that they were around and that the camera was roughly in the right place.

This wasn't too bad but the otter was a bit too far away.

And this one was rather too close.

Then I got several pictures of retreating otters.

And proof that there is more than one.  I have this on video from the Bushnell as well but the quality when uploaded isn't good enough to show here.

The camera also picked up evidence of an American mink, despite the presence of the otters.

Oh, and the badger didn't want to be left out so it popped in for another photo opportunity.

Last night was the best yet and the camera took a dozen photos, the best of which are here.  I don't know if the otters are getting used to my scent or to the flash or if the camera sensitivity has improved.  I'll keep at it and post more pictures if they are good enough.


  1. So how do we know that's a mink? Apart from the fact you've told us?

    1. It is much smaller than the otter cub. Compare with the photo 9 or 10 above - both are taken from the same distance. Also the mink has a tubular body shape without the higher back around the hind legs and it has a furry tail. The otter has a smooth pointed tail.

  2. What model of trail cam was used here?

    1. The colour/flash photos are with a Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0, a fairly old model. The infrared photos are taken with a Bushnell NatureView - it has OK video but generally poor stills - usually less good than shown here.