A Pied Piper or a Camera that is the question

I have been trying to capture the natural life of Powdermills Bed & Breakfast. I have already catalogued the flora and fauna in the grounds and I am now using an app that identifies birds by their song. So, I will detail that later in the year.

However, my major effort has been to capture wildlife, such as, Deer, Foxes, Pine Martins or whatever on camera. I bought a very professional camera and fixed it to a tree up by the pond thinking that wildlife would be attracted to water. Well – nothing – zip – nada.

Much was captured but it was not wildlife! Of course I did get the ‘Lawnmoreus Neverendus’ and the very common ‘Lesser Haired Scotsman’ but not much else.

So, I moved the position of the camera – ten different locations and still nothing! We did manage to capture someone’s cat stalking around at two in the morning. I tried to convince my sceptical family that it was an escaped Panther or even an elusive Lynx!

Oh and that rare bird known as the ‘Pidgeon’.

We did possibly get a rare bird but it was so busy attacking the camera that it was out of focus and unrecognisable!

Finally, we captured a furry four legged red haired animal.

Alas, it was Boo! However, my luck turned!

So here is me basking in the glory of a David Attenborough like award winning film when in strolls Sue the other day.

“You’ll never guess what I have just seen at the bog. It stopped and looked straight at me and Mabel as if posing for photograph?”
“Not a Deer? Where was it?” I replied incredulously.
“Just where your camera is”
Except I had moved the camera from that position weeks ago!

Sue just happened to mention her sighting in an email to the previous owner of Powdermills and she received this reply:

“If you see her again, try this: sing gently to her.

Someone told me that they are enchanted by singing and in our first or second year at Powdermills there was a beautiful young hind about. LIke you and Mabel, I had Fitz on a lead and he hadn’t spotted her, so was quiet. She raised her head from the bog, with a bunch of wildflowers surreally in her mouth and just stared over at me. I kept singing, she kept watching, completely unalarmed. Fitz saw her and barked. She sped off. Everytime after that when I spotted her I sang again [It was Richard Thompson’s great song, From Galway to Graceland [although I can’t sing] – and she would stroll a little closer each time. After about a month, I was walking with Fitz up the path to the hill on the loch side of the bog- and she was in the lade. I started singing and she kept pace with me, about a metre behind, just following the ‘music’. Magic.

And here’s another thing. Again I’d been told that seals are interested in repeated whistled phrases. I remembered this stray conversation once when I was once on Rathlin Island and saw a couple of seals pop up and dive again in Church Bay.  Just for a laugh and to see what happened, I quickly invented a four note phrase and kept whistling it. You wouldn’t believe it-  but suddenly these grey bottlenecks serially popped up in the bay, swivelling to focus in on the source of the sound – and started moving towards it.

I kept whistling, They kept coming – and one got closer and closer to the beach and then came out of the water,slowly headed straight for me. I kept whistling – feeling like the pied piper. He was about thirty feet from me when someone’s dog barked from down the bay – and he just turned and flopped at speed back into the water. Get a whistle going – you never know when you might get a chance to try it.

I think that I am not cut out for all this wildlife malarkey as it would appear being a good singer or a whistler seems to the key skills!