Saturday, April 30, 2022


I don't like doing vertical orientation but sometimes it is necessary. The PIR motion detector is OK, but I'm starting to think it is kind of slow for fast-moving little birds. I got out my Canon wireless trigger today and got some shots, mostly vertical, with the 5D Mark III and 300mm lens, firing away as the bluebirds approached and hoping to get something. The fourth image is the 1D Mark II, 70mm lens, motion triggered. Finally, I had the new Browning monitoring the birdbath and got this of the male coming in for a drink.


A fox traveled through our yard in daylight a few days ago. I wasn't quick enough with the DSLR but I was able to watch him/her cutting through back yards on its way north through the subdivision. I have several recent examples from Browning #5 facing east toward the house, but it didn't register this daylight incursion. I have taken melted Browning #6 off birdbath duty and it is now facing west toward the open field where the fox has been seen in daylight in the past.

Our lawn looks awful this spring, due in part to some critters burrowing under the snow and tearing up the grass. There should be plenty of prey for the fox. I got a shot back in January where it appears it caught something. Here are the April shots, including one during the day on April 10.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Upon further review

Here's a few more from the latest trailcam review. The first is a coyote on the Primos near the cabin, then a few more Primos moose, and finally a "night" shot from the Reconyx near the bridge about 100 yards further west. In the shady forest, sometimes the cameras take B&W images even though the sun is up. Note that the first two Primos images are from the morning of Feb. 20, and the Reconyx image is from that afternoon, so the moose was in the neighborhood all day.

Thursday, April 28, 2022


In an effort to beat the rain, I went out to service my trail cameras in the National Forest south of Red Lodge. I didn't beat the rain entirely. Two of the three cameras had dead batteries but got some moose images before they gave out.

The Primos is my worst camera. Image exposure is all over the place, usually blown out overexposed, but sometimes underexposed. I had it out there essentially as a security camera for the cabin, not expecting wildlife to come within range. But it managed to capture a moose, and the exposure was resoundingly adequate. The other two moose images were taken by my older Reconyx 100 yards to the west. The first Reconyx moose image shows small antlers, other two taken later do not. I'm not sure what that means. The Reconyx also got an image of a cat. There were no humans in the sequence, so rather than a domestic cat I think it is a bobcat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


The thousands of trailcam images I get of the bluebirds are OK, but what I really want is DSLR images shot with a decent lens and not oversharpened by in-camera processing. Like this one. Canon 1D Mark II, prefocused zoom lens set on 70mm, 1/640 at f/11, triggered by the PIR.

Of course the trailcam is still deployed. The builders were a bit optimistic with one of their delivery attempts yesterday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


We were away for about 10 days, which you can read about in my regular blog, but the trailcams in the back yard were running. We start with a magpie at both the box and the bath, then get to the bluebirds. They seem to be well along in building a nest inside the box despite two snowstorms. Click on an image then scroll left and right.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Locked in...almost

I think I've got the distance and angle I want, but these are slightly out of level. As you can see from the info strip on the third image, it was cool cold in Montana this morning. Some flurries overnight and today, and winter storm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, over on Browning #5, the fox continues to prowl the yard. I've also included a video from my Blink camera. Not shown is a skunk waddling through the yard a few days earlier.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


Compared to the past few days, this trailcam image from new Browning #11 is from slightly further away and lower, pointing up. I certainly have enough of the bluebirds poking their nose into the box, so I'm hoping to get some more flight shots. Melted Browning #6 was demoted to birdbath duty and has seen a few visitors. I know the colors are different between the two. I'm not going to worry about it 99% of the time, otherwise I would be spending all my time trying to do color adjustments.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

More bluebirds

I may be approaching the point of diminishing returns on the bluebirds. But here are some good ones from today. Maybe I'll try some video.

Hour by hour

Here are some more trailcam images from yesterday. I usually don't crop trailcam images, but the blur of activity in the first image was accentuated by cropping it, IMO. As mentioned in the previous post, the new Browning snapped 865 images yesterday. After going through them, 698 had a bird in them, so very few false triggers.

Blur of activity
Traffic jam
Nesting Material?