Nick Carter, Conservation Officer (Fens)
Six remote cameras were set up at the Wissey Wetland, near to the Wissington Sugar Factory, by Arnie & Rosemarie Cooke, during July to record wildlife usage at the site. The advantage of the cameras is that they give a 24 hour, seven days a week surveillance of an area. Five of the cameras were set to record videos and one to take photos. Some of the results of the latter, set up on the edge of a wood overlooking a ditch, are shown here.
Red deer was the commonest species caught on camera with the picture showing a hind and two fawns in the ditch. Red deer were filmed day and night crossing the ditch but were most frequently seen in the early morning and evening up to midnight. Muntjac were also commonly caught on camera. The shot of a very young muntjac fawn swimming across the ditch may be unique. Both red and muntjac deer were more commonly recorded than in February.
Grey heron (there is a small heronry close to the wetland) was the commonest bird filmed and there were several shots along this ditch. This shot is unusual in that it shows two mallard in the ditch with the heron.
Other species videoed included an otter on the River Wissey hunting in the shallows at night time. Roe deer, fox, badger and brown hare were videoed but only occasionally. Other more unusual birds filmed included green sandpiper and little egret. The cameras add to our knowledge of the species on the site and how this changes as the site develops.
In order to raise local awareness of the site we (volunteers Alison, Ann, Bob & Ann; and staff Bethan and Nick) attended the Hilgay Show, 10-11 August 2013. New local contacts were made and the kids had a great time making dragonflies and learning about wetland species. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with just one element of criticism concerning the loss of farmland to nature.