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Pine Marten Camera Trap Success at Hillockhead

Tim has been keen to get some DSLR camera trap set-ups in the woods near to his properties at Hillockhead, on the Black Isle, as the Bushnells have been showing regular visits by pine marten. We chose the centre section of the tree that they had been visiting and Tim set up two flashes to illuminate the area. Guessing on the exposure needed, we positioned the camera, hoping the pine marten would enter this section to seek out the tasty treats we had hidden.

Using a Camtraptions PIR motion sensor, the DSLR was set to take a single image, when triggered by the Camtraptions sensor. It was all pretty much guess work on this first attempt and, I must admit, I did not have much confidence … I was sure the pine marten would be spooked by the flashes, even though they were set on a limited output. There was very little noise though and the flashes were very fast, but I did think that the marten would be put off by their presence and, if it did trigger the sensor, it would be scared and not return….. how wrong I was!!!

We set it in the afternoon and returned after 2 nights. The food was gone… so had we captured anything?

I was amazed!

The pine marten had returned on numerous occasions and did not seem worried at all by the flashes. It was incredible and very exciting!

I have cropped some of these  a little in processing…..

Certainly not bad for a first attempt! With any set-up like this, it takes a bit of experimenting with camera angle, flash positioning, power and the location, to capture the best images.

This has definitely spurred me on to get going on DSLR camera trapping at home again…. I wish I also had pine marten to experiment with!

I will be looking forward to seeing what else Tim captures at this location.


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