Friday, 2 January 2015

2014's Garden visitors

I've been using a Bushnell trail camera throughout the year to find out more about the wild animals that visit our garden. This is similar to the recording I did in 2013 but a bit more systematic. This time, I kept the camera pointed at one area of the garden and put it out for nearly every day and night of the year. Average number of visits appear lower than last year but this is because I wasn't 'cherry picking' the best conditions and locations.

Fallow deer on the 25th of August.

How many visitors?

The following graph shows how many wild animals were "seen" by the trap camera per 24 hours.

Fox visits peaked in 3 months:
  • February, just like last year
  • August, again like last year - this is due to young foxes appearing in the garden as well as the adults
  • December, which is new - in December 2013 we had few visits, maybe due to the incessant rain we had over that winter.
Badger visits were occasional treats in Spring, Summer and Autumn but not in the Winter when they would be staying in their setts. 

Deer visits were more frequent than last year due to a delightful pair of males, one light and one dark, who sauntered in and out of gardens in the area from April to August. They even appeared in daylight. After they disappeared for the rut, one returned in November and December to take advantage of the tasty leaves in our garden.

When do they visit?

This graph shows the times of these visits.

Again, patterns were difficult to discern:
  • Foxes visit between sunset and sunrise but without any real pattern.
  • Badgers visit between sunset and sunrise - this year they were more likely to come after midnight whereas last year they mostly came before midnight.
  • Deer were much cheekier than last year - coming in the day as well as the night and often staying for long periods.
Although I haven't been able to draw any real conclusions, it's been lovely to keep opening up the camera and discovering new treats and surprises. In 2015, I intend to start experimenting with video.

Month-by-month historic weather data - I looked at the Eastbourne figures.
Monthly averages - I searched by Uckfield, which gave me the nearest (unnamed) weather station.
Fallow deer rutting season.

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