Welcome to the Big Cats In Britain Wildlife Trigger Camera Blog

Welcome to the Big Cats In Britain Wildlife Trigger Camera Blog

The Big Cats in Britain organisation, (BCIB), predominately searches for evidence of native and non native feline species living in the British Countryside. Part of our research includes the use of wildlife trigger cameras, also known as stealth cams or trail cams . These operate using infra-red technology to take pictures of any animal that passes the camera.

Our members have dozens of these cameras in various locations around the British Isles, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

This blog is dedicated to showing the general public, the animals we have captured on camera. These images are small snapshots of the diversity of animal life that can be found in our countryside.

We hope you enjoy them.......................

All images are copyright of the BCIB, if you wish to use any of these images online or in the media, please contact us first to obtain permission.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Muntjac carcass investigated by a fox and other muntjac

These are the latest shots from the location in Warwickshire where we placed the muntjac roadkill carcass. Lots of pictures of foxes and a couple of nice male Muntjac shots.

Interestingly the dead Muntjac has been moved between the picture of me setting it up, and the next fox picture, without tripping the camera.

Strangely, no animal seems to have tried eating this free meal.

Tim Jenkins
BCIB Warwickshire


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Extraordinary image of a bat in flight

Yet again, the Argyll location throws up another wonderful image. The camera was obviously set off by the young roe deer, but as it flashed, the bat was caught in flight. I'm unsure of the species in question as the image isn't clear. But if anyone has any thoughts we'd love to hear them.

So we can now add "bat" to our ever increasing collection of animals caught on camera

Shaun Stevens
BCIB Argyllshire

















Latest:

The owners of the land the photo was taken on, have informed me they have a colony of pipistrelle bats in the roof of their house. There is a good chance this bat is from that colony.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Muntjacs from Warwickshire

This weekend I checked my camera in a location in Warwickshire. The only animals captured were muntjac deer. Mainly butt and back shots. The camera was really low down but I think they were walking along a trail right in front of it so I was just getting the tops of their backs. If they had had their heads up even, there would have been some nice shots. When I was stood in front of the cam it was well below my knees in fact I had to get on the ground to swap sd cards

Also I saw a Muntjac roadkill yesterday so we went and picked this up on the way - very fresh and now in front of my cam! Fingers crossed that a big cat sniffs it out.

And yes I know the date is wrong before someone points it out.

Tim Jenkins
BCIB Warwickshire

























































Sunday, 22 August 2010

A menagerie of animals from Buckinghamshire

Paul Nicolaides has sent these great pictures from Buckinghamshire. Roe Deer, Muntjac, Foxes, Badgers and even a Grey Squirrel. It can only be time before Paul gets one of a big cat










































































































































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Friday, 20 August 2010

Even the little critters are strutting their stuff now

How does the saying go? Never how far away from a rat?

10 feet, 20 feet, I can't remember who said it and where, but I thought I'd give this little blighter his five minutes of fame, seeing as it keeps cropping up on the trailcam.

They too can travel a lot, up to 2 miles. I know this because some naturalist friends live trapped quite a few, put vegetable dye on their backs and let them go. They then found a couple eating food left out a few nights later. They had travelled nigh on 2 miles but then it was winter so I suppose they look around a lot for food then and there was none where they were let go. All in the interests of science of course.........

Charlie Bones
BCIB Sussex and Sussex Big Cat Watch





Tree climbing fox, and those pesky fleas

Now that the trailcam is set on video I'll try and post anything of interest. The quality is not as good as stills, as it's not really designed for it, but it does show animal movements and personally I prefer it. There is also a better chance of capturing a bigcat on the video setting.....

Charlie Bones
BCIB Sussex and Sussex Big Cat Watch




Thursday, 19 August 2010

More Roe Deer from Argyll

This is the latest batch of video's of the Roe deer group in Argyll. With appearances from both bucks, several of the does and a little cameo from the twin fawns.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

"Upon a hill there was a coo..."........or two..or three.

Our esteemed leader Mark Fraser, founder of the BCIB, and all round decent bloke, (I'll expect a cheque in the post now), has a camera in place near to the town of Galston, Ayshire. A location that has a rich history of sightings. There were high hopes for this area until someone let the cows out. As you can see, not everything goes to plan in the search for Big Cats.

As a variation on the old scottish poem goes,


"Upon a hill, there was a coo, and just to prove it we took a foty too"












































Monday, 16 August 2010

We'd like to thank Deben Group Industries for donating a brand new trigger camera.

Deben Group Industries are the sole UK distributer of the US company Hawke Optics, range of equipment.

Today we recieved a wonderful donation from them, of a "ProStalk Nature 3.0 MegaPixel camera", which is a great addition to our camera numbers. It is a high spec camera, which we are hoping to get get some great images from. A feature that is new to me, is a built in microphone, so we should get some sound with our videos in the future from this unit.

The camera will be initially trialled in a secure location before going into the field at a big cat hotspot.













We will be publishing all photographs from this camera in the coming months, so keep an eye out for them.

We at the BCIB would like to thank Kate Cranmer and Tony Gibson at Deben for arranging this donation.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

BCIB Trigger Camera Project featured in the National Press

15th August 2010 - Sunday Post - Page 23














Click on image to zoom in and read the article

Monday, 9 August 2010

Has a Big Cat finally been captured on a trail cam in Canada

This image has not come from a member of the BCIB, nor is it from the UK. But if genuine, this animal appears to have been captured on the same sort of camera that we are using here in the UK.

Taken in Ontario, Canada, the animal does look on initial impressions to be a melanistic leopard, although without any scale to measure against, size cannot be confirmed. However a close up of the animal shows a tail with a tapered point, as would be expected on a domestic or feral cat. Leopards or jaguars have a blunt tip to their tails. Also questions should be asked why it has taken so long for the story to break, seeing as it appears to have been taken on the 18th April 2010

I'm sure you will all have your own opinions on the cats identity.

The full story can be found at
Big cat caught on camera?
















Short-Eared Owl on a Car Cam

Although this is not from a trigger cam, it is the result of yet another tool the BCIB members use in their efforts to capture an image of a big cat.

A lot of big cat sightings are made from people's cars, as the cats run across the road in front of them whilst driving. Obviously there is no chance for anybody to stop their cars and whip out a camera, because by the time they have registered what they have seen, the animal has disappeared from sight.

In order to increase their chances of filming a big cat, many BCIB members have rigged up small camcorders in their cars to film the road ahead, whilst visiting big cat locations. Every week, usually on a Sunday night I do just this. With a Sony DCR-SR32 HD Handycam set on "nightshot plus" mode, mounted on the car dashboard with a clamp, I leave at 11 pm to do a 90 minute circuit of the single track B roads through the forests of south Kintyre. Over the years I've filmed deer, foxes, badgers, feral cats, wildcat hybrids, toads, frogs, rabbits, hares, buzzards and tawny owls using this set up. Mostly I manage to get maybe 10-20 seconds of footage of these animals in the car head lights before they run away. Tonight however was a different story. Tonight I managed to get a lovely piece of footage of a species I have never filmed before, a Short-Eared Owl.

I see owls regularly, all of them tawny owls and usually sat on fence posts. They never stay there for long because as soon as you draw near in the car they fly off. Not tonight though. I'd just stopped the car because a wildcat hybrid has crossed in front of me and disappeared into the grass out of sight. As I moved slowly off, about 30 seconds later I saw an animal at the side of the road. Initially I thought it may be a rabbit or even a kitten, (I'd seen a wildcat hybrid with a kitten a mile or so away a few days ago), but as I got closer I could see it was an owl, and not a tawny owl like I usually see, but what I believed was a short-eared owl, (I'm sure the ornithologists out there will correct me if I am wrong). Certainly a new one for me. Interestingly it allowed me to drive right up to it, to about a couple of yards away. After filming it for a minute or so, and realising that it hadn't left the road and flown off, as owls are prone to do whenever I get close to them, I wondered whether it was injured. I live in a place called Campbeltown in Argyll, and we are lucky to have the
Scottish Owl Centre in the town, so my thoughts were, if it was injured I could get it to the experts within 20 minutes. So I got out of the car and slowly approached it. As I crouched down to within a few inches of it, it flew off. Why it didn't move off the road as I approached it in the car I have no idea, but it appeared to be in good health and flew off into the night safe and sound.

I may not have got any footage of the local big cat, but to get within a few inches of a beautiful bird like that, more than makes up for it. All in all a great night.



Shaun Stevens

(BCIB Argyllshire)




Friday, 6 August 2010

Deer Olympics

It looks like our Roe Deer group from Kintyre have decided to enter the Deer Olympics in 2012. As you can see, their training regime includes doing shuttle runs up and down the hill. Hopefully their training will pay off and they will bring home the gold.

Shaun Stevens
(BCIB Argyllshire)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Fox photo strip and a hungry badger

After baiting an area in a forest in the south of Kintyre, this fox appeared and gobbled up all the bait. While a poor badger arrived too late to grab an easy meal. These images were captured using a Cuddeback Trail Cam

Shaun Stevens
BCIB Argyllshire


Gif Created on Make A Gif

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Big Black Cat photographed on one of our cameras

Another one from Charlie at the Sussex Big cat group.

Now if only we could get one just a little bit bigger...........but I'll let Charlie tell the story.



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, big cat fanatacism 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.

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 adrenaline, 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, aiming to get 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.............

Charlie Bones
Sussex Big Cat Watch
















Sunday, 1 August 2010

Red Fox with a Rabbit just caught.

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, I 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 over-exposure of the shot. I'm pretty sure the big cat 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......

Charlie Bones
Sussex Big Cat Watch