Wednesday, 21 February 2018

RoebuckCam - Time for a nap

Here is behaviour I have been trying to catch for some time.  All my previous attempts with cameras in the woods have been unsuccessful because it is almost impossible to guess where the deer will lie down.  Although they now come to the garden it is still hit and miss but this time it worked and the buck came for a sleep in front of the camera.  I have put a video clip below but first a few photos to show what happened.

The buck chose a place where there was already a scrape from a previous night and after sniffing briefly he lay down.

Once he was comfortable he must have sat or slept very still as the camera wasn't triggered again for almost an hour, when he stirred and then stood up.

He spent a few moments sniffing and looking around before wandering off to get some more to eat.

These photos are all frame grabs from the videos so I am impressed by the quality.

Below is the video.  The camera records clips of a maximum of 20s at night, with a minimum of 5s in between (presumably for buffering) but otherwise they are consecutive.  I have run four clips together in iMovie but the programme refuses to export the result and I can't work out why.  In the end to get this I have filmed the result on the iMac screen using the iPhone.  This is very Heath Robinson and presumably means some loss of quality, and makes the sound go funny, but otherwise it is not too bad.

The "light" that switches on part way through is infrared light from a Bushnell camera out of view.  The buck was too close to it and right at the edge of the frame so there were no useful images from the other camera.  At the second transition there was a 56 minute gap with no recording so I guess the buck was asleep or not moving as the camera is pretty sensitive to movement.

This last clip was in fact recorded before the others.  It was triggered by a fox jumping through the fence but just after the fox disappears you can hear a bellow which I think must be from the buck.  It is a sound I haven't heard before as roe deer usually bark or squeak.  A great sound to hear in the garden though.

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