Guest blogger: David Oakley, The Mammal Society

Camera trapping provides a non-invasive insight into the animal world that was previously reserved for scientists, species experts or dedicated naturalists.

Camera traps are becoming ever more popular and affordable so we can all now enjoy a glimpse into this realm. All you need is a camera trap and somewhere to put it. Find out what is using your back garden when you are not there or maybe your local nature reserve.

Roe deer caught on camera by David Oakley

I have been camera trapping at a site in the New Forest for a few years now and still look forward to seeing what my cameras have captured. It is always enjoyable to see the resident clan of badgers or local foxes, both of which have cubs at this time of year. Being in the New Forest many roe, fallow and red deer regularly appear, however every now and then I also get a wonderful surprise such as a polecat.

Hare captured by David Oakley's camera trap

If possible, get hold of a camera and give it a go, it's great to find out what is out there.


Please submit any mammal sightings to The Mammal Society for contribution to The National Mammal Atlas Project.

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by 7myrag

    on 14 Jun 2013 18:25

    (Sorry, this does not relate to the New Forest but did not know where to blog!). Secondly, 6 starling babies arrived with their parents and proceeded to eat everything they could, especially the fat blocks. Thirdly, we have been visited by a Chukar. I thought it was a red-legged partridge but it is not. Very hungry and alone. Fourthly, 2 crows have decided that they should act as vigilantes in order to rid the garden of jackdaws! Fascinating to watch this going on, with swift flying and a lot of noise

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by 7myrag

    on 14 Jun 2013 18:01

    Had an interesting time in the garden this week: Firstly, after hearing a lot of crows chattering, I looked out and at the bottom of the garden (we have a large one) there was a buzzard surrounded by crows and magpies with what turned out to be a crow in his claws. The birds were not happy about this at all and heckled and mobbed the buzzard. I think the crow it was holding was still alive when I first looked. The buzzard hopped around until it had a wire fence and trees at the back of him and he proceeded to peck and eat the crow. One magpie remained and constantly flew up into an apple tree, jumped down on to the buzzard's back and bounced onto the ground; then he did it in reverse, again and again. Is this a common practice?

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by RangerDave

    on 11 Jun 2013 22:17

    Have recently started using a trail-cam in my friends 4 acre wildflower garden in south Essex, on the first night I got video of 2 animals they have never seen in 17 years of being there, badgers and a very rare glimpse in these parts of a Muntjack deer!
    We are all now addicted! :)

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Sarah

    on 11 Jun 2013 16:44

    We had 7 camera traps at our woods, which were getting wonderful results over the last 4 years. Unfortunately all of these were recently stolen, despite being well-camouflaged, off the beaten track and the woods being fenced off and only open on specific days. Others have had trees cut down in order for the cameras to be stolen. Infra-red flash can be seen using night vision goggles or night sights on air rifles. Sadly it seems that some people will steal anything, and it is best to try and keep these cameras on secure, non-public sites. They are not cheap!

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