Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Camera-Trapping in a Tick Safari

Ticks are somewhere on the very top of my list of the most annoying animals on the planet.  Those blood suckers are crawling all over the woods around Virginia this time of year.  They're out in the millions.  It's incredibly annoying to get to some of my camera-trap sites now because when I come back from them, I know a good chunk of time will be spent checking my body for ticks.

Half of the time, I just feel them crawling on me, but the other half can be anywhere on my skin.  It really is bad around here this time of year.  The woodiest and most natural areas turn into something that I have been known to call "Tick Safaris".

Even with the ticks attacking, cameras still need to be checked.

A few days ago, I went out with one of the volunteers and did some good wildlife research by camera-trap. She didn't seem to be too bothered by the crazy number of ticks around us.  I admit though, I was a bit bothered.

We moved into some swarming patches of Japanese stiltgrass and got to work.   The typical acts of checking and changing things in the camera were done.  Results were checked on the computer.  One of my favorites came from one that we placed near a stream where rocks had been place to dampen the effects of faster water.  Red foxes seemed to like this spot, and of course, had built a den near it a few months ago.

In other news, I saw a black bear today in Fairfax County.  I'll do a blog post on that shortly but I'm first waiting for cameras in that area to be checked to see if it came up on any of them.  Also today, I saw 3 fox kits playing on a baseball field and a pair of pileated woodpeckers bolting from tree to tree in Sterling, Virginia.

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