Animal Crackers

I recently bought a camera that records both stills and video; it is activated by motion sensors and can also record during the night. It stores any recordings on an SD card.

We had tried it in the garden to ensure that it worked, with limited results. Hedgehogs were the star turns, as well as our cat, of course.

Yesterday, my wife attached it to a post on the bank of the stream that runs at the bottom of the garden. This morning we checked the disc with some excitement; we were thrilled with the results. There were some solid cameo performances by hedgehogs (again), rats and muntjac deer. However, the Oscar winning performance went to a fully grown otter. We knew they were active along the waterways in the area but to capture one on film caused great excitement, especially for our three year old grandson who lives with us.

Our daughter bought a moth trap. She set it up in the garden the other night and the results were fascinating. She, and my wife, are experts on insects and they were able to identify them, with the help of reference books, in the morning. Afterwards, the moths are released into long grass so that they can hide until nightfall.

What will tomorrow bring?


Being in the city, it’s lovely for me to read this post Alun.

Feel cooler just reading it.


Pat xxx


Thank you for taking the trouble to read my witterings and I am glad you enjoyed them.

Regrettably, the next recordings were a bit of a let down after the previous night’s world premiere performance. The camera only recorded some muntjac deer. Better luck tomorrow, maybe.

It’s been 24 degrees here today in sunny Suffolk, but I suspect that most cities were in meltdown. I hope you managed to keep cool.

Alun x


ONLY a muntjac deer! I would find that pretty exciting!

The one thing we do see in the city are foxes. I love seeing them. Usually only in the night or early morning. Once I saw a fox sit at a pedestrian crossing and wait for the lights to change and traffic to stop. Then he/she trotted confidently across!

Another time I saw one jump a fence, about 5ft high, from squatting position, like a cat!

Going to be another hot one. Keep cool!

Pat xxx

Hello Alun and hello Pat.

That must have been so uplifting. Well, it’s cheered me up.

I’m having an absolute mare at the moment with falls, broken wheelchairs and moving house on Friday.

The stress levels have approached with great stealth. Like Macbeth, every time I blink, the forest gets closer.

Denial is futile.

Thanks for the post.


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Thanks for the Springwatch in Suffolk update and nice to hear hedgehogs are thriving, because I fear they are almost extinct in London. I have seen muntjack deer in the Olympic Park, although they seem to be getting everywhere and one of the few species that are actually on the increase.

I get excited these days when I see a young sparrow searching for a spider lunch and even that is becoming a rare sight.

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Thank you all for your positive replies.

Pat, we don’t see foxes that often but they are vocal at night, especially during the mating season. We live on the edge of a small market town and I did see one in the town centre very early one morning, in those distant days when I was mobile, and I was heading for the train station.

Whammel, as far as sparrows are concerned, our garden tends to attract dunnocks although we sometimes see a house sparrow near to the house. I enjoy watching the wrens hunt for spiders.

This year’s star performance so far, even outdoing the otter, happened when a sparrowhawk landed on an arch in the garden and stayed there for a minute or so. I had the binoculars near at hand for a detailed look. The garden instantly became silent and the birds took some time to reappear.

Dragonfly alert. Seen so far at the garden pond: Four spotted chaser, Brown hawker and both male and female Broad Bodied Chasers. Along the towpath of the former canal linking Halesworth and the Blyth estuary (suitable for buggies): Male and female Emperors and male and female Banded Demoiselles. They do hatch from nymphs in our pond as we keep finding the exuvia, from which the dragonfly and also the damselfly emerge, attached to a reed. My daughter took some in to the local playgroup to show them.

Steve, don’t wish the witches’ prophecy on yourself; best of luck with the move. Wasn’t there a scary Dr Who series in which angels (ironically, named) could only move when a person blinked?

More will follow, I hope.



Wow, Alun. You’re like our very own Chris Packham of the MSS. Such lovely descriptions too.


Very positive post Alun. I dread to think what creatures I would catch with a night motion camera.

I have had a fox, just roam in when I’ve left the back door open. And the usual cats & dogs.

My faves, are the big hairy spiders that have moved in. They are helping with the fly problem.


Thank you Sue for your kind words. Regrettably, I am not as erudite, handsome or tonsorially hirsute as Chris Packham. All I can do is aspire.

Otter Update: It made another appearance last night and also left us a little deposit, in the form of a spraint, on a stone in the stream. Linda collected it and we looked through its contents this morning; there were some very large fish scales, possibly from a pike? Our three year old grandson loves his adventure along the stream in his wellies to collect the SD card from the camera each morning. Also caught on camera were supporting cameo roles from muntjac and moorhens.

Thank you Terry. Urban foxes are thriving.


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