I set up a camera trap yesterday, along side a run to the river used regularly by a badger, fox and deer; half an hour later, the cattle found it. They might not appear very bright, but they definitely have a spooky ability to detect a camera. Throughout the night 45 one minute videos had been recorded, most of which were of the cattle giving my camera a good old licking. The camera trap is silent, uses an invisible black-LED flash unit, and is supposed to be undetectable by man and beast. Every cow in the marsh herd can see my camera trap! Whether by day or night, they are drawn to it.
The north marsh fox came by at 4 am, but the badger and deer failed to put in an appearance.
I spent a couple of hours coppicing willow alongside the river this morning, at the point where the waters of the North Pond Chain flow into the River Stour. The sound of my axe biting wood brought cattle running, eager to chew on the tender willow withies. Once there, they don’t want to move – I’m stuck with them! Not that this is a particular problem, but they do get in the way and I have to keep an eye on them in case they eat my jacket or rucksack. They are also not very particular about trampling my tools, or anything else that I might leave lying about. They are also not averse to giving me a nudge in my back when I least expect it, but I know this to be a friendly gesture.
There are a couple of very placid cute white cattle with thick curly coats in the herd. I know it might seem strange, but either someone was playing a trick on me or these curly coated beasts can whistle.
I moved on to an adjacent field, leaving the cattle bellowing at the gate.
There is one thing I am reasonable sure of: the cattle won’t realise it’s Christmas on Friday.