Friday, 30 July 2010

fox with rabbit/trailcam

Using the near full moon to it,s advantage,this fox has nabbed itself a rabbit.After i had checked the cam and left the wood then waited along a fenceline a fox could could be seen stalking rabbits, possibly the same fox.The rabbit seems to be adult size and when the picture was taken it must of been so close to the cam to of brushed against it hence the overexsposure of the shot.I,m pretty sure the bigcat that was in the area has moved on but these sort of snapshots of life at night make leaving the cam in situ until a better place comes along,very worthwhile......
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Friday, 23 July 2010

Jacob sheep carcase

This carcase was found along with a bigcat pawprint in Ashdown forest by a local researcher there...........
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Scratches on chicken coop

Posted by PicasaAs promised,for reference purposes,here is the pic of a chicken coop roof that was apparently torn into by a bigcat.The area at the time was host to a fistful of sightings of a large black cat,sheep were found killed in cat-like ways,also deer and scat also on nearby grass.Pawprints matching a large,leopard type cat (already blogged) were also found in the area,all this by bigcat researcher Brian Hale some time ago in north Sussex.The weather was extremely cold at the time with snow hanging about and this picture bears all the hallmarks of what sort of damage i would expect a bigcat to do with it,s claws when it wants to get in somewhere.In extreme cold weather they have been recorded coming close to outbuildings in search of food such as the Tillington sheep kills.....

Bigcat scat?

This picture shows some scat that was found by bigcat researcher Bryan Hale along with a whole lot of other evidence that a bigcat was active in the area around north Sussex.Posted by Picasa

Fox,mostly eaten 14/5/10

I can find no signs of the Horsham cat at the moment,neither from on the ground evidence nor from the good old,garden variety of eyewitness account by people so i,ve gone back through the archives to show the remnants of this fox i found back in may amongst the bluebells.Strangely enough that farm holds ample foxes now with plenty of evidence of their activities like pigeon kills and fox scat everywhere that is purple, with the blackberrys they have been eating.Posted by Picasa

Fox,partly eaten.1/2/10

This fox was found in the next parish to the one blogged amongst the bluebells found a couple of months later......Posted by Picasa


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Roe doe deer/trailcam

Out of the archives,this doe is looking nicely into the lens.......
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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Why do we need sightings?

Sightings from people are probably the single most important source of information.From these we can work out the possible size of population,the movements throughout the year of cats as they travel their territories.Also the different colours,size,sex,numbers of young and when they have them also how long they are dependent.As cats depend on different foods throughout the year we can work out possible proportions of prey in their diet as well as their impact on livestock,gamebirds and believe it or not pets which might bring them into conflict with people.As our understanding and knowledge grows,these sightings continue to inform us on how they are adapting to an everchanging,overpopulated landscape.It,s only through peoples efforts in telling us what they,ve seen ,sometimes in excellent detail,that we can compile all this information for the ultimate benefit of everyone either affected or interested.Ornitholigical and mammal groups also gather info on their particular study groups in this way.In fact,the northern Spanish lynx is also studied like this with sightings info leading to the bulk of research material with actual sightings by the researchers themselves being few and far between.Once a decade on average,so i,m told.I am, therefore,very grateful to all the people who have and will share their time in telling me when they have seen a bigcat.Without you our work would be difficult if not impossible.THANKS!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Black cat noticing cam.

Seen here,the cat seems to of noticed the cam.The cameras lens is 24"high off the ground.If the cat was say 20"at the shoulder i would of expected it,s head to be nearer the darker area in the picture(up higher in other words)
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rabbit picture

I,ve included this picture of a rabbit for scale purposes.....
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Black cat on trailcam

Be careful what you wish for,as they say.I suppose i should of wished for world peace,harmony at home or something else mutually benificial but no,bigcat fanaticsm grips tight,so on a recent birthday celebration i wished for pictures of a cat and not just that ,but posing nicely in front of the trailcam.Maybe i should also of been more specific and prefixed "big" but i was under pressure,what with my lungs bursting under the pressure of blowing out all the candles on the cake.So,taking the day off work i took the journey to deepest, rural Sussex to check on the trailcam,it,s been a week and the long trek in the sultry dog days of late july brought me sweating and exhausted to the cam spot."I saw a big,black cat" was the sighting description there from the sheep farmer previously,"no,not a leopard or anything like that,just a very big,black cat the size of a labrodor"he had told me.So i was anticipating a type 1 stocky cat,what the living legend Merrily Harpur describes as "our very own British Bigcat".Checking the 150 odd pics on the 2"lcd screen i came across 2 pics of a definitely black cat.The sweat had gone in my eyes and shaking with adrelinine,as i tried to make out scale on the tiny screen,the battery went.Well,i had planned to make a bit of a day out of it,swap the card and battery over and maybe do a bit of bird watching and let the dogs have a cooling swim in the river a few miles away ,being home not far short of midnight,but with some sort of cat pics on the card and the laptop sitting at home,it was a drive in nightmare,rush hour traffic to get back and analyse the pictures.Uploading with the Hamas card reader is quick and simple now and as soon as the first one showed it was obvious what it was.The small,neat feet,stumpy legs and short fur gave the clue,a feral cat albeit a big tom,miles from the nearest town and it had to amble past the cam!Never mind,onwards and upwards,if anything it just goes to show the trailcam is in top form and if a small one went past it just maybe it,s bigger cousin will.............
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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

More tree scratches

Another week,another investigation,more bones and more tree scratches.These scratches show the hallmarks of claw indentations and although not as vigorous as the ones i blogged in june,are more typical of bigcat markings in that they are mostly vertical and are slightly higher at 4ft off the ground.Both sets bear the similaritys though of being on the edge of a piece of ground,that is near a fence and are on the border of woodland with fields.A sheeps skull was also found together with a pigeon kill and also the compulsory fleece scattered about.Although not that old i could find no obvious fresh signs and seeing as no more livestock has been taken i,ve told the sheepfarmer that in my opinion the beast has moved on.I hope i,m right as it,s troublesome moving away those sort of numbers of livestock which would seem to be the only option of protecting them if the killings had continued.........
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

fish taken from pond/6.7.10

I had a call from a friend who lives on the outskirts of Crowborough who has had most of the fish taken out of her pond on the night of 2nd of july.Although the fish were not worth anything ,the pond was firmly netted with stakes driven into the ground hard to ward off herons which it had.The stakes were snapped off and the net was torn up.The garden,as it backs onto woodland with Asdown forest in the distance,is deer fenced and whatever it was that took them would have to of leaped this 5 ft fence.There were no holes under the fence,neither were there any trace of the fish left just a couple of dead ones floating on the surface.The next morning the lady let her dogs out and they went straight to the pond sniffing about and acting strangely.Badgers couldn,t of got in,foxes wouldn,t have had the strength or the fishing skills to catch all those fish and otters,there are none in the area,would of left signs like fish bones and scat around.Bigcats have been recorded taking fish from ponds(see earlier blog)and apparently an old chap down the road who used to feed all the local wildlife has died so perhaps it,s something that was looking for a new food source........

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Deer carcase/horsham/results

Posted by Picasa30.6.10 Well it was with much anticipation that i checked the trailcam at the deer carcase site.The body had gone and on checking the memory card found it had taken 954 pictures,an incredible feat for the rechargeable battery.A huge amount,each one needed checking for the slightest sign of a bigcat even just a tail tip or a shadow.The loading up to the laptop took 2 hours but thankfully the farmer allowed me to park my van near the site so every thing was done in situ so that,if anything of note was found,the cam could be put back in position.The results were:bigcats 0,carrion crows 900 odd,blackbirds and thrush fledglings 41 and only two fox pictures.I had hoped ,at the very least, for some nightime shots of packs of foxes fighting over the corpse,in fact there were no nightime shots and a single fox only showed up on the 6th day furtively and dragged the carcase into the bushes on the 7th.Once again in this area the trailcam showed that fox activity at night was nil.If a cat had indeed killed the roebuck,it seems it had not returned,at least while the cam was there.I found the body when it was about 4 or 5 days old and was already smelly so,perhaps,in the hot weather we,ve been having,a stinking corpse is not to it,s taste and has moved on......

carrion crows/deer carcase

These carrion crows lived up to their name by hogging the carcase daily.They appeared at first light and spent times of up to an hour feeding not only on the body but also the resultant maggots.Dissapearing for half an hour then coming back they were observed flying around the area seemingly on patrol and buzzing passing buzzards.....Posted by Picasa