One of the things that I love about using a trailcam is the anticipation of seeing the results. Normal wildlife photography is fun but I usually have a sense of how the photo will turn out as soon as I press the shutter. With a trailcam you simply have no idea.
Clearly it makes little sense to install a camera in a spot where nothing is likely to wander by. I'm always childishly optimistic that I'll get something exciting and rare! So when I approach the camera, which may have been out for a night or a month, I look for clues as to what I might have caught. Fresh tracks or scat is good to see as is disturbed ground in front of the camera.
What I don't like to see, in this part of the world, is evidence that baboons have visited.
Baboons can't resist investigating anything unusual and I invariably find the camera at some crazy angle. What follows this shot is usually a series of waving branches.
The next indication one gets is on opening the camera. Most trailcams have a counter that indicates how many images are on the memory card. In setting up the camera, as well as retrieving it, a couple of images usually get taken. So my heart sinks if the counter shows only two recorded images. Conversely, if it shows many hundreds, then it's likely that the camera has been triggered by waving branches. So, my favourite sight is a counter that shows about 20 shots: something has triggered the camera but it's probably not branches!
So I was disappointed the other day when I opened the Cuddeback, after a week in the hills, and found only two images. But when I looked at the images on my laptop, what a SURPRISE.....
A nicely framed Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus). While these little antelope are not rare in these parts one seldom gets up close to take a photo.They live almost exclusively in rocky habitats and can disappear up the mountainside in a flash. Their coarse hair was once prized for stuffing saddles. That fact was another surprise for me.