Over the best part of a year, I have been setting up and monitoring infrared cameras, to get a sneak peek into the nightlife of our nocturnal friends in Porthcurno! During this time, we have spotted a famously playful badger that featured on BBC Springwatch, skittish roe deer and two adult foxes! Since our last night camera update, a lot has happened in the nocturnal world- read on to find out!
Recently spotted on our night cameras we saw what we had been hoping to see for a while, some of our resident adult badgers have had kits! Two adult badgers are shown with at least two babies, exploring the woodlands of Porthcurno. Badgers are very social animals, living in groups or ‘clans’ which can reach up to 20 members. Within a clan, individuals will forage for their own food for their own family, which is likely what we are seeing in this footage!
Although we have been seeing roe deer all year in varying amounts, this is the first time a stag has entered the view of our camera! Seemingly confident you can see up close this impressive animal enjoying an evening snack on the lawn. For Roe deer, the rut is happening right now. However, females won’t give birth until late spring next year! Roe deer fawns are even more secretive than their skittish parents, kept hidden and silent in the undergrowth while their parents forage. It would be amazing to spot one on our cameras!
Three Red Foxes
Finally, an update on our third nocturnal mammal – the red fox is a much-loved species in Porthcurno, so it’s been amazing to see that our resident adults have had a cub. Although this cub would have likely been born back in April, it is only just learning the lay of the land by itself. Several of our videos have captured it running around the lawn and into hedgerows, likely learning some useful survival skills. When cubs do this their parents are usually very close by keeping a watchful eye on them.
I hope you enjoyed this night camera update! Covid lockdowns have been a great time for wildlife to take a breather and explore some more open spaces, allowing us to get a close look at them in a way we haven’t been able to so far. As we are now in mid-summer and Porthcurno is extremely busy, nocturnal animals seem to not be quite as bold as they were, so we haven’t captured much recently! Hopefully, as autumn kicks in we will see a bit more action before some of these animals get ready for winter hibernation.
Maeve Cushla, Young Curator
Header Photo: Maeve Cushla