During the winter season we get a lot of Trumpeters wintering over. They fly down from the Yukon. They only stay in very quiet bays. The bears tag team them. When the bears go to bed,the Trumpeters arrive.
In our area Grice Bay is HQ for Trumpeters. There are around 30 to 40 staying in Grice during the winter time. Grice bay is a perfect for them! Nobody ever goes down there…….or very few! In thirty years I have yet to see another person down there when I’m there! People stay away because at low tide the bay empties exposing the mud flats.
Many birds stay down at the end but the ones I’m interested in are the Trumpeters.
So to document the Trumpeters winter stay I have placed a trail camera down there to observe.
Each time I use one of these camera traps the set up is unique. In this set up I hammered a 2X4 into the earth and attached the housing. I need the cover for the camera because of the winters rains!
I think I’ll go back in two weeks time to swap the card and batteries. I never know exactly whats going to walk past?
Back in September I placed a trail camera up river to capture the goings on of the locals.
This is my first time using these cameras in this manner. I set it up and left it for several months. I came back twice to swap out the cards. The first time I left the camera for a month. After swapping the card and getting home I found the 32 Gig card had filled up in only 6 days,and than It sat there for 3 more weeks doing nothing! Clearly I needed to cut down on the memory being filled so quickly! The camera turns on when anything walks in front of it. I found a lot of the memory was being filled up by bears searching for salmon at night. I couldn’t tell what was going on but I could see their beady eyes shining back at me.
I’ve always been curious If bears hunted for salmon at night? I’ve never been brave enough to paddle upstream to find out myself. Our eyesight isn’t that good in the dark,maybe we could get away with it during a full moon but generally speaking we are blind as bats out in the dark. Bears have a reflective layer coating the back of their eye. Think of a stainless steel bowl. This reflects the light back out.
The eye is made up of two basic units,rods and cones. Cones are used for colour while rods are used for light intensity. Light coming into the eye hits the front of the rod creating a signal. It than hits the back of the eye and the light is reflected back out to the backside of the rod where it is detected a second time. So by having this extra light capacity the animal can see very well in the dark. Many animals have this ability. Our own pets have this reflective coating.
So I decided to cut out all of the night shots to help reduce the storage problem. I also cut the video length from 30 seconds to 15 seconds. I programmed it to come on at 7 am and turn off at 7 pm.
I found this stretched the memory capacity significantly! Here are a few videos for your entertainment.
This shows a bear searching for salmon. He cannot see but we can that there are zero salmon in that pool. Keep searching buddy!
This video shows a bear that has grabbed a salmon. Once a bear grabs a salmon they usually walk off into the forest right away so another bear won’t see them with the salmon. If another bear does see it with a salmon there is a good chance it would go after that bear. Which usually causes the bear to drop its prize and flee in fright!
Bullying is alive and well in Nature!
This shows a bear walking through the lower pool in search of its breakfast.
You can see a eagles failed attempt at grabbing its own breakfast.
This is the last video I shot. It shows me arriving to grab the camera. Season was done!
The salmon are beginning to stage in their natal streams! So this year I thought I’d try to do something different. Obviously I cannot hang around my favorite stream day after day, week after week.I’d like to…… but cannot.
So I have set up a Trail camera to catch the action. I placed it in a spot where the salmon are forced to expose themselves. They must move upstream to spawn! I picked this spot because they move from a deep pool to another pool above but have to swim over some washboard rapids exposing themselves.
Of course the bears are smart enough to know where the best spots are! The bears wander along the river banks each day searching and hoping that they are in the right spot when one of the salmon makes a break for it!
I too try to be at the right place at the right time but as I’ve said,I cannot be up there all the time. So I’ve set a trail camera up. I will collect the SD card after a month. Wish me luck! Its taken me years to figure this stuff out…….. or maybe I should say “think” I’ve got it figured out. This kind of stuff doesn’t come with a manual.
(I had to reuse this shot)
Well,I went out tonight with one purpose and one purpose only……..to get that trail camera dug out of the sand!
I landed on the beach and new instantly that it was gone! I couldn’t see or find it anywhere! The beach had been scoured clean! It looked like a totally new beach! I walked up the beach searched everywhere but no camera. It was in a waterproof housing but I suspect that the salt water most likely would of gotten in and she was toast in seconds after being hit! Very large fresh trees had been uprooted and would of been like battering rams to anything on the beach.
I did find the post,but it had been snapped and the camera case was gone!
Looks like the ocean is interested in photography! I have the card from it however so Mother Nature won’t be taking any pictures soon!!
I did find that Elephant Seal carcass however! But without a camera to record the wildlife,it seems a mute point!
I went on my merry way down Browning Pass and to Tsappee Narrows. Neither the Daredevil or his mate ,Delilah were home.
Romeo was however!
I just puttered around trying to save the afternoons shoot.
The clouds broke after almost a week of stormy weather! I couldn’t wait to get out! It seems so long!
The first thing I did was go check on my trail camera. I found that the storm waves had moved it further into the beach and buried it partially!
I got the card out of it and just left it for the night. I will have to go back tomorrow with a shovel and dig it out.
The carcass is still in the area as well & it’s even further back towards the forest line!
For the rest of the night…….I went up into Fortune Channel looking for bears. I came across two bears tonight.
No eagles today. I think they are all still on vacation at the spawning grounds?
Great to get out after being shut out for so long!
UPDATE : I couldn’t get back to the camera the next day. It took two days and by the time I got back with a shovel,it was gone!
The ocean has taken it!
The carcass was still there however!
There appears to be only these two wolfs on Vargas island…….at the moment?
They are always in a constant state of “nomadic life”.