Young Wildcats – Catch me if you CAM

February 16th 2018

They were on a mission: To find and photograph the shy and nocturnal animals living in and around the school grounds. The children of Lochinver Primary were right up for this challenge and over the next six weeks set up a trail camera in the Culag Community Woods. They hid the camera deep in the undergrowth and far from the normal footpaths and left some bait to lure animals close in. Then they waited. The camera was designed to be triggered by the body heat and motion of any passing animal or bird

Each week they tried different food baits. The results were stunning. They photographed and filmed red deer, roe deer, badgers, foxes, pine martens and wood mice. They caught in the camera several dogs and on the final week a very strange visitor! Lexy said “ it was very exciting going each week to see what we had recorded”. Seamus said “he did not believe there were so many animals living so close to Lochinver primary”.

All the sightings and data collected by the children have been sent to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas Scotland.

The project was part of a trial being conducted by twenty primary schools across the Highlands lead by Dr Keri Langridge from Scottish Wildcat Action and supported by the Highlife Highland Rangers and funded the global conservation charity Earthwatch an organisation that empowers people to save our planet through hands-on science. The children of Lochinver Primary are now waiting anxiously to see if any of their photographs has won in the competition for the best photo as judged by Gordon Buchanan.

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Recent Sightings

Kittiwake

c100 adult and 1st-winter birds feeding off Clachtoll (DAH) (24/09)

Tufted Duck

two male birds on Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (22/09)

Merlin

single bird near Stoer Village Hall (DAH) (21/09)

UPDATE on colour-ringed Oystercatcher

we have heard back from the Icelandic Wader Group regarding the colour-ringed Oystercatcher spotted at Bay of Culkein on Tuesday. It was ringed, as an adult, near its nest while it was territory-guarding on 19th May this year; the location was Eskifjorour which is on the east coast of Iceland. We will post a short article on the Field Club's website in the next few days regarding other sightings of colour-ringed birds recorded in Assynt (DAH) (20/09)

Pink-footed Goose

c225, in four skeins, heading east over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH). Oh boy, it's autumn! (20/09)

Wigeon

single male in eclipse plumage Loch Inver (DAH) (20/09)

Manx Shearwater

young bird rescued from a garden at Inchnadamph (Chris Rix/Andy Summers). The bird, which was well off-course, was successfully released at Stoer the next day. (18/09)

Oystercatcher

four birds resting on rocks Bay of Culkein (DAH). One of these birds, an adult, had a combination of coloured rings on its legs. The details have been submitted to the appropriate ringing scheme, which appears to be the International Wader Study Group, and we will report back once we hear from them. (18/09)

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