Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
No Google Adds here.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Time for a proper post

First though, the Trail Cam.
New batteries last night, but it seems nothing triggered it into action. Probably too wet here for most of the creatures of the night.
Still raining here, and has been since Sunday evening. Just a bit wet, but hopefully it will stop soon.

First up is a Herring Gull, having a stretch.

I'm not very good with gull ID's, so I'm hoping I've got this next one correct.

I think a Common Gull. The legs look yellower than I remember when I took this.

Sanderling. Not the best shot I've taken of one, but I liked the low angle; and it took a lot of effort on my part to get down this low. How I hate getting old!!

Two of the same bird next. Not often I get to see so many of these together.

Sandwich Terns

Last one from beside the sea, and it's one I posted this morning over on the other blog; but I like it, so it's here again.

Little Egret

and I'll finish with a couple taken round the garden, where I'm staying.


Coal Tit


and last one for now; not a bird, but

a Bank Vole

Hope the weather is better where you are.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Update on Trail Cam

This morning I e-mailed the head office of Wildlife Whisperer, and was surprised to get a quick response from someone called Jason.

' Hi Keith,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay of this reply. From your description it sounds as though this is potentially an issue with the batteries you are using. We have seen this before and have discussed it at length with Bushnell/JJVickers. Bushnell explained that there is a design feature of the unit that prioritises the recording of video over the powering of the IR LEDs when the power of the batteries falls below a certain level. The hope is that there is sufficient ambient light on most occasions when this happens to illuminate the image. '

It then went on about various types of batteries, (it takes 12 AA type), and that they have found a huge variation in quality and performance of various brands.

' We (and Bushnell) recommend the Energizer Lithium range of batteries as we have found that they consistently outperform other brands including Duracell and should offer longer operation when used in your trail cam.'

There was other stuff about them contacting Bushnell's UK distributor, to see if they have anything else to add.

Now, so far so good; perhaps.
At least I got a response.

Now when I came up here, I did bring some spare batteries, (Duracell),  just in case the ones I had ran out. Despite the ones in the camera still having some power left, it would seem it's not enough to trigger the video at night.

I can't help thinking that some sort of 'warning' about batteries, and their recommended ones, should come with the camera somewhere. 
They do say on the packaging that the battery life is up to a year.

Probably is if you only use the camera a couple of times.

The set of Duracell have been installed, so a test will be made this evening, to see if anything appears around the hen house during the night.

At the moment the weather is so bad, that I can't get out to any shops to get the Energizer batteries that they recommend; hopefully that will be tomorrow, assuming things work this evening.

Fingers crossed!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Bushnell Trophy Cam.

My review of  the Bushnell Trophy Camera, model number 119467; and supplier.

On Friday 17th August, I visited Birdfair with Trevor. During the day we visited the Wildlife Whisperer stand, and after speaking with a very helpful assistant I purchased a Bushnell Trophy Camera, model number 119467.
It came with a memory card, membership to WildlifeWhisperer, and a limited edition pin badge.

Once we got home, I loaded it up with a dozen batteries, set up the camera for stills and video, and to record video for 60 seconds at a time. It all worked perfectly, filming the birdlife activity in my garden during the day, and the visiting cats and a hedgehog during the evening. 
It can take HD video during the daytime, or black and white video at night, and stills, at up to 8MB during the day, and a lesser quality at night.
A great piece of kit.

At £275 it bloody well should be.

Fascinating to watch it all, once I'd managed to download it all onto the computer.

That was the first problem. I tried downloading directly from the trail cam, but it didn't seem to recognise any video; despite some being recorded. It told me there was no media files on the device.
I tried the memory card in another camera, but that had a similar problem. Eventually I managed to free the video from the card by going in to the 'Computer' option from the start menu of my pc, finding the trail cam, and right click, then choose 'open' from the options.
Success. A convoluted approach to getting the media files, but it worked. I was happy.

However, on the Wednesday evening of 8th September, I started to experience more problems.

It would record sound and vision for about 10 seconds, and then the screen would go black. No vision, but the sound continued to record. During the daytime, the camera worked perfectly; it was just in the evenings that the problems occurred.

Finally, on the evening of the 12th September, the pictures gave up altogether.
No moving images, but the sound continued to record when the units 'sensor' (?), has been triggered.
The still images during the day are perfect, and most of the time in the evening.

Now, whilst in Wales, I was looking forward to seeing what 'wildlife' was around at night where I'm staying. Definitely something is triggering the camera into half action, but unfortunately I can't see what it is.

On Friday 14th September I went on Simon Kings website, Wildlife Whisperer, and used the 'contact form' to ask for some help. It does say it is the quickest way to contact them, by using the 'form'.
I'd heard nothing by Monday, so I tried again, asking how long would some sort of response likely to take.

Still nothing so far.

On the Tuesday I left a question on the members Forum.
To date, it's had 18 views, and one response.

The response was from someone who tells me, 'I've had the same problem which only began last week. Contact Wildlife whisperer through the contact page here, they are being very helpful'

Well, unfortunately they're not very helpful for me.


So, to sum up; and this is just my opinion, gleaned from my own experience.

Simon King comes across as a nice man.
His website is very nice.
He sells some nice products on there.
The after sales service for faulty products isn't nice; it's shit.

Here's a typical night time video.

Next time I need any 'wildlife products', I'll be purchasing from a reputable dealer, and one that can offer an after sales service.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Into the weekend

Still in Wales. Here's a few from the last couple of days.
Got loads to sort through still. I really should keep my finger off that button a bit.

Meadow Pipit. Lots of these around here, and always great to see them.

Goosander. A walk along the coast road from Llanfairfechan to place called Morfa Madryn. Always some great birds to be seen.

Greenshank, at the same place.

A ride along the coast to one of my favourite reserves next; RSPB Conwy. This is one of the half a dozen ponies that roam freely.

One of the friendly dragons there; a Common Darter.

Even friendlier.

This Meadow Brown just seemed to flop down with its wings spread out as though it was exhausted. First time I've seen one pose like this before.

Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits. Just a few of the many that were here.

And I'll finish with a couple of flying Curlews.

Despite the odd shower, I'm having an excellent time here in bird heaven. I hope everyone has a great weekend, whatever you're doing.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

From Wales

A quick post from up a mountain.

Mixed weather, the trail cam has died, (more on that in another post), but having a good time.
I will catch up with everyone soon. Here's a few pictures so far.

Just down the track, from where I'm staying. They do say that a Holly tree full of berries, is a sign of a bad winter to come. I wonder if it's the same for a Rowan tree. They are covered in berries here.

A visit to RSPB Conwy was the first outing, once I'd got sorted out. I love this place. A couple from there.

A Yellow-legged Gull, with a Wigeon for company.

In the distance, along with a flock of Dunlin, was a Curlew Sandpiper. He's the slightly bigger bird on the left, facing the right.

Standing under the bird feeders, was a handsome Feral Pigeon, catching the seed that fell.

Next up was a visit to Lake Vyrnwy; another favourite place. A large bird hide near the RSPB shop gives some amazing close-up views of the birds as they visit the feeders. While I was there some of the visitors included Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, and Siskin.

Up on some telephone wires, a Swallow was taking a quick break before his long journey.

Yesterday, a visit to Flint, and Point of Ayr. Still got lots of pictures to sort from there, (and the other places), but here's a couple.

My attempt at being arty. Flint castle is the background.

The lighthouse at Talacre, Point of Ayr. Not used any more, and I hear it is up for sale. Anyone fancy living in a lighthouse?

While I was there I walked along the beach towards Presthaven Sands. Quite a walk too. They have the last remaining breeding Little Tern colony in the whole of Wales. Needless to say they had all buggered off back to Africa when I got there; but there was a lot of Sandwich Terns out on the sands, as the tide rapidly began to come in. After taking a few pictures, I began my walk back along the beach. The sand was getting less and less, as the tide very quickly came in. In the end I had to scramble my way up the sand dunes, to continue back to Talacre. However, I did stop to take a few pictures. A fly past by a Razorbill, and lots of groups of literally hundreds of Oystercatchers. Far too many to count Trevor.

One of the many groups of Oystercatchers, along with a Cormorant for company.

And last shot for now, one of the many visitors to the garden here.

Billy Buzzard


At the moment there is a cull in England of Badgers, in the mistaken belief by the government, and DEFRA, (Death, and Eradication For Rural Animals), that they are the main cause of bovine TB. A senseless slaughter is not the solution. Far better to vaccinate.
If you agree, please sign the online petition here. Thanks.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Greylags and an update

Thanks for the earlier comments on the previous post.

Still experiencing problems here with my net connection; or lack of it. I think Orange are clutching at straws now for a solution. At the moment my brand new router from them is plugged directly into the phone socket to test the line over a 24 hour period.
The new router didn't work when it arrived, and after a lengthy phone call to an Indian call center, and a bloke who's accent I could hardly understand, I'm still not convinced all is well. Everything works fine early mornings, but dies around the afternoon. Even my laptop is having problems connected to it all, so I think that eliminates my computer as the problem.
I'm pretty certain the fault lies at their end, but getting them to admit that is pretty hard.

All very frustrating and annoying.

I'm off to Wales again in a couple of days, and if it is not sorted by the time I come back, Orange will be an ex Orange, and I'll look for someone else.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, myself and Trevor had a day out on the Norfolk coast.
Titchwell first, where we saw 22 Spoonbills, amongst many other birds, and then we stopped off at Snettisham. What an amazing spectacle we witnessed as 1,000's of Greylag Geese came in to roost.

The following video doesn't really capture a fraction of the atmosphere. The sound of all those geese as they flew overhead to land at their roost site was incredible. Made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!!

I'll catch up with everyone's blogs eventually; hopefully.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Quick Post

A very quick update from here.

I'm having some big problems with my internet at the moment.

Early morning seems the only time I can access it, and it's been like this since the weekend. By the afternoon the connection is non existent.

At some stage I need to get in touch with Orange to find out what's going on, or maybe just change to someone else.

Hopefully be back to normal soon. Off out to Titchwell very soon with Trevor.