An extended YewView Stay and night-time PTZ cam fun!

This week, I spent two nights at YewView, house-sitting their 4 collies and brought my two along too! The great thing about actually staying on site is that I get early mornings and late nights there. This means the opportunity to see even more wildlife! I was just going to put some food out early evening, to film what visited when a movement caught my eye. There was a fox sniffing around in the wild flower meadow. Creeping slowly backwards, I ran back into the house to get my camera. When I got back to the spot, it was disappearing through the reeds to the wildlife pond, for a drink. This gave me the chance to race down the meadow and position myself behind a tree and to wait for it to re-emerge. The light was quite poor, so I knocked the ISO right up and waited. The fox appeared further down than I was expected, amongst the willow. I pressed the shutter and it paused, looking my way, but didn’t see me… I managed a couple of shots before it trotted out of view.

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It turned, and I saw it head towards the orchard, so I sprinted the other way and crept along the far side of the hedge, to where I knew there was a gap. Slowly creeping forward, I could see it sniffing around in the orchard. This time, I had put my Canon 7D II on ‘silent’ mode (not actually silent but much quieter!) and I got about 8 pictures before it disappeared, once again, into the undergrowth.

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I was delighted to have seen this beauty ‘in the flesh’ as such as I have seen it appear on a number of the cameras around Yew View. Also lovely to see it in daylight. It certainly appears to be a healthy individual and looks to be quite young.

I captured a couple of foxes around the otter holt site this week as well…

The otter visits are gradually becoming less frequent and we only had one visit from the male this week….

Our badger sett did not have any badger visitors, but I was very surprised to see this appear!…

This bengal belongs to neighbours and is very inquisitive! He was probably after the rats who have been spending quite a lot of time in the chambers. I captured this quite interesting clip of two fighting in there. I have filmed similar behaviour to this in voles…

I am still working on the tawny box and now looking for a tree surgeon who can help us get it up in the tree! In the meantime, I was delighted to see them, once again, checking out our original box. Here you can see the male, with his head inside the box, calling the female. You can hear her outside…..

I was excited to be staying the night, as I wanted to spend some time up in the office with our Pan, Tilt, Zoom camera (PTZ). I can control this camera using the mouse, although it is quite difficult! If I did it a lot, I would get a joystick for it, but I rarely get the chance to use it in this active way and we tend to just move it and leave it static on a spot for a week. I wanted to watch the badgers and foxes that move around the site at night. The PTZ cam is up on one of the terrace levels, and can look down the wildlife meadow to the lawns. I placed some food on one of the walls by the terrace steps that was quite close to the camera. I knew I would get good views from here and be able to zoom in quite close.

I did not have to wait long before a fox smelt the food. Initially, it was quite nervous of actually taking the food, despite being regularly fed only a few metres away. It pays to be cautious when you are a fox…. and it spent a few minutes investigating from different angles. Excuse my rather amateur attempts at moving and zooming in with the camera!

Make sure you click the COG icon and select to watch these in HD!

It gradually built up confidence until it was eating there quite happily. There are at least 3 individuals here….

It wasn’t only the foxes though. The badgers also appeared and it was wonderful to be able to follow them around the garden a bit and to zoom right in on them… they are like a hoover!

There is absolutely no doubt as to who is boss when it comes to the food….

I spent about 3 hours upstairs watching and following these individuals and I just loved it! It has made me even more determined to get a PTZ here at home, where I spend more time at my desk and I could spend more time controlling it and moving it around….. I had better get saving!