Wren Rose has obtained a night-time shot of one of Thames Road Wetland’s elusive Water Rails, in the process of using a motion sensor-triggered Trailcam to try and get film of the site’s equally shy Water Voles.
The difficulty we have, as this picture (and those of Hedgehogs at Woodlands Farm recently) shows, is that these sorts of cameras are designed to ‘capture’ large ‘game’, such at deer, at some distance from the equipment. Anything too close and too small is ‘burnt out’ by an excessive flash of infrared light to the centre of the frame. Having done a bit of web research we think this is partially fixable by blocking of some off the LEDs, and by fitting a homemade ‘diffuser’ over them to give a more even spread of less intense lighting.
The camera has also added a new bird record for the site by photographing a Grey Wagtail ‘on the deck’. Whilst Wagtails are often heard and/or seen flying over the site, I am never sure which species. This Wagtail may have been foraging for flies attracted to a run of Water Vole droppings along the top of a concrete slab, but no pictures of an actual Water Vole yet ……
Wren also took these photos of what I will say is a Reed Warbler nest, unless someone thinks otherwise. It is attached to Great Willowherb. I’m not sure if Sedge Warblers weave their nests around plant stems like this. I also have an example of such a nest fixed to this particular plant species at home. I removed it for future educational purposes, before the winter weather causes it to disintegrate.
Chris Rose. Thames Road Wetland Site Manager.