Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Thermal imaging in the woods

There's a research project into wild boar going on in our wood and the surrounding woods (details here). Last night we went up to open the gate for some people coming with thermal imaging equipment and show them where some of the boar tracks are - you need to know where they are already to find them in the dark! Here's one in the daylight:
We went up before dark to enjoy dusk in the wood, and have a hot drink.
While we were sat quietly we saw a number of pheasants, a few rabbits, and best of all - a Tawny Owl flying around the wood and the wayleave. Although we saw it, it was getting dark, so it was by its call that we identified it.

The researchers turned up about about quarter to nine and started unpacking their equipment:
I can't show you a picture through the thermal imager, though we did get a look though it - it's amazing how the difference in temperature lets you see different types of vegetation, and any animals (OK, people in this case) glow bright red. Their plan at this stage is to patrol different parts of the wood with the imager and see what they find - partly just to see how well they are able to distinguish boar from other animals that are around, especially at a distance.

Once we'd showed them round, we left them to get on with it, as having too many people around would scare off the boar. Just to finish though, here's a few long-exposure pictures of the wood lit by moonlight:

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