Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Redford recce

It was with dismay that i checked the cam yesterday,the heavy rain of the last few days meant that the local wildlife had kept their heads down resulting in few pictures but it wasn,t this that was disapointing.The videos were misty,lacking detail and i put it down to the almost permanent fog that been around here due to the weather.Anyway,onwards and upwards it was time to move it,the lure of the wild boar and muntjac here was eclipsed by the chance of something even more exotic and after thanking the kind people of Alexandra,s Kitchen,Midhurst,the woods owners and also member Paul for the permission it was off down the road,cam in bag to another spot where i had a brief view of "something that wasn,t a fox".Setting up the cam was more difficult here and the target zone wasn,t the luxurious 50ft plus of the last place but more like 5ft and yet still the pictures were misty.Not happy at all with the setup i checked the lens glass(the trailcam unit itself is contained in a weatherproof unit) and horrified to find condensation,that ghoul of all cameras.The only remedy was to strip the thing down,take the guts out and clean the inside of the lens cover.Problem solved.Hopefully,my laughable attempts at electronic first aid haven,t damaged the precious cam and it still does it,s job but if there was ever a place to put a cam then this is it.The hours of the day were slippping by so it was off to meet Derek,SBCW founder,to have a look at yet another prime cat-holding ground in this area,game is abundant,it,s quiet,plenty of cover,the small fields are surrounded by woods and once again that bigcat country signifying plant bracken grows well,but that,s another story for i wasn,t going to mention the next few sentences but now will.So often we talk to people who have had spurious sightings of something that could well have been a bigcat "it wasn,t a fox or a dog or anything like that but it crossed the track in front of me so quick i couldn,t make out exactly what it was"is broadly typical of what we hear.Without a concrete identification holding fast under scrutiny and occasionally backed up by on the ground evidence such as pawprints,fur,kills etc or even preferably a double sighting and even better multiple ones,they won,t ,at the least ,get recorded and at the most a mental note of "may of been",all are forgotten.How foolish i,ve been.Thinking back some of these "could well of beens"have been in bigcat country and who knows?So back to last week and dusk finds me walking through one of these mixed woods coming out onto a grazing field with rabbits scattering everywhere.The last bit of seeable dusk,a fair while after the last of the plinking blackbirds,in fact when the pipistrelle bats are feeding hard,something ran across the 100 yard stretch of paddock 30 yards in front of me going righthanded.It was light,all one shade of colour(it was too dark to tell colours)moved unlike and had a much thinner tail than the animal it would usually of been,a fox.The dogs were now noses down,tails flagging,stretching on their long tracking leads very buzy and interested in this scent,me?Well,not wishing to sound too Ray Mears,there was an electric feel in the air,the complete opposite of say, watching a relaxed herd of deer lying down in the shade in long grass on a summers day .As i said,i don,t know what it was but it "could well of been...."

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