NHBS In the Field – Video Endoscope

Video Endoscope

Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus) – Photo: Claire Spelling (www.flickr.com)

An endoscope (or more correctly a borescope) is an optical device with an eyepiece or display at one end and an objective lens or camera at the other end, linked by an optical or electrical cable that relays the images. They have a broad range of applications, from medical investigations to drain inspections and are fantastically useful for ecologists as they give visibility of inaccessible places such as mammal burrows and bat roosts (for licensed bat workers only). They have the added advantage of minimising disturbance by being less intrusive than visual inspections and many handheld units can now capture still images and video footage for a permanent record.

Video Endoscope

The innovative Video Endoscope is a pocket-sized inspection camera that is ideal for examining crevices, cavities, burrows and nests. It is very ergonomic with a clear, user friendly interface and durable design. The semi-flexible 1m camera tube neatly coils into a cleverly designed groove at the back of the device and it has a protective carry case, making it very portable. The 3″ screen has an HD resolution with 720P and the camera has six LEDs with adjustable brightness control and digital 2x zoom, to ensure the picture is clear. This endoscope records still images and video on to a MicroSD card and is powered by 4 x AA batteries. We took the endoscope out to field test it in a pond to look for tadpoles and to examine nests in nest boxes.

How We Tested

The Video Endoscope camera is IP67 water resistant so we wanted to test its performance when recording underwater. It also has adjustable LED brightness so we wanted to test it in dark conditions. We chose a pond on a farm in West Dorset known to have some tadpoles and selected some nest boxes in a nearby area to examine for nesting activity. We used a 16GB microSD card and 4 x new AA alkaline batteries.

What We Found

Tadpole – image captured by Video Endoscope

The Video Endoscope was really easy to set up and use. The controls are clear and the menus are simple to navigate. It was simple to switch between photo and video mode and to control the LED brightness and zoom. This meant that our attention was focused on capturing the best possible footage in the field. The images and videos we recorded underwater were clear and sharp, in spite of the debris in the pond and we got some good footage of tadpoles.

It is quite difficult to control the full length of the cable as it is flexible, so we found it was necessary for the observer to be stood quite still. This was particularly evident when trying to use the endoscope in nest boxes. This is shown by the difference between the two videos below – in the first one you can just glimpse some eggs but we didn’t manage to count them properly and it was hard to capture them in subsequent videos.

 

However for checking quickly in a nest box to see if it was occupied it performed excellently. The adjustable LED brightness was particularly useful when checking the nest boxes and looking under rocks.

We edited the videos using Microsoft Video Editor, which meant that we could flip the image when it was recorded upside down, as it is quite difficult to keep the image the right way up when the camera cable is fully extended. The endoscope does have an image flip function, which is very handy when you have the camera positioned well but the image is inverted.

Our Opinion

Snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis) – photo captured by Video Endoscope

The Video Endoscope is a fantastic, versatile piece of field equipment that could be useful in many different survey scenarios. It is particularly impressive when used underwater as the photos we took in a rockpool survey last year demonstrate. It is very portable because the cable coils neatly into the body of the endoscope and the controls are simple to use. The quality of the still images and the video footage are fantastic, and the adjustable LEDs mean that you can get decent images from quite dark spaces. For more information, or to purchase a Video Endoscope, please visit our website or contact us.

 

The NHBS Guide to UK Butterfly Identification

Orange Tip image by L Wilkes

Butterflies are an iconic and popular sight during the spring and summer months. They are also important indicators of a healthy ecosystem and provide valuable environmental benefits such as pest control and pollination. As food for birds, bats and other mammals they are a vital part of the food chain and have been used for centuries by scientists to investigate navigation, pest control and evolution, as well as countless other subjects.

In the UK there are currently 57 resident species of butterfly and two regular migrants. Of these, it is estimated that 76% have declined in abundance, occurrence or both over the past 40 years. Almost all of these losses can be attributed to man-made changes such as habitat destruction and pollution, along with larger patterns of weather and climate change.

Recording and monitoring butterflies is a vital step in ensuring their conservation. Contributing to citizen science projects such as Butterfly Conservation’s Butterflies for the New Millenium, the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, or via the iRecord app are vital to gain a picture of how our butterflies are faring. Although at this time it is not possible to travel to survey and record butterflies, sightings within your garden or on your own land, as well as those spotted on local walks, still provide a valuable source of data. (Please read the most recent Covid-19 statements on each of these websites before undertaking any surveys.)

In this article we have compiled a short guide on which butterflies you are likely to see outside this spring/summer, as well as some tips on the features by which you can distinguish certain species.

Gardens

For many butterflies we need look no further than our back gardens. In the UK many generalist species of butterflies survive and thrive in the network of gardens that stretch out across the country. These species are drawn in by the bountiful supply of nectar offered by flowering plants such as Buddleia, which are seldom without a visiting Red Admiral or Peacock. Gardens with unmanaged patches are even more favourable, as these can provide larval host plants such as thistles and nettles, the latter of which are used by four different butterfly species.

LOOK OUT FOR:

1. Large White: Large and often found near brassicas and nasturtiums
2. Small Tortoiseshell:
Medium-sized, often bask in open sunny spots
3. Red Admiral: 
Large and territorial with unique black and red colours
4. Painted Lady:
Large fast flyers with very angular wings
5. Small White: Medium-sized with yellowish under-wings, eat brassicas
6. Peacock:
Large, dark butterfly with distinct eyespots on its wings

Grasslands, Parks and Fields

Grasslands are an incredibly valuable habitat for many of the UK’s moths and butterflies. Semi-natural grassland, pasture, arable land, urban parkland and any areas with rough unmanaged grass will all support a variety of butterfly species. In the height of summer these areas can be teeming with Skippers, Common Blues, Ringlets and Meadow Browns. Be sure to inspect any flowering plants (particularly thistles and knapweeds) as these can act as vital nectaring points for many butterflies. Pay close attention for the fast and subtle movements of smaller species as these can often disappear against such a busy environment. A prime example of this is the Small Copper which is notoriously hard to spot due to its minute size, fast flight and discrete colouration (when its wings are closed).

LOOK OUT FOR:

1. Meadow Brown: Very common, with dull orange patches on the wings
2. Green-veined White: Have a distinct green colour around the wing veins
3. Small Copper: Small and fast, has deep brown and bright orange wings
4. Common Blue:
 Small with a vivid blue colour and unbroken white border
5. Six-spot Burnet (moth): Has distinct pattern, often feed on Thistles
6. Ringlet: Common, wings can appear black and have distinct yellow rings
7. Marbled White: Large slow flyers with a unique chequered pattern

Hedgerows and Woodland-Edge

Edge habitats are well known for their butterfly diversity and abundance, housing many threatened and elusive species. There are a few species which you are likely to see in these areas, however, bear in mind that species such as the Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper can also occur in several other habitats. Sunny areas with flowering shrub such as Bramble are hotspots for activity, particularly for Gatekeepers. Holly Blues may be hard to spot as they are mostly arboreal, only descending to feed on flowering plants such as Ivy. Woodland interiors are unlikely to yield many butterflies, particularly those with little light and/or limited forest floor plants, however open sunny glades are worth visiting.

LOOK OUT FOR:

1. Brimstone: Large with a powdered yellow/green colour and slow flight
2. Comma:
 Large with a uniquely scalloped wing edge and fast flight
3. Gatekeeper: Small size, often found around hedges with bramble growing
4. Holly Blue:
 Very small, flying around tree tops, especially those with Ivy
5. Speckled Wood
: Medium size, very territorial and regularly sun bask
6. Silver-Y (moth): Fast flying with a distinct silver ‘Y’ on the upper wing

Butterfly Conservation

Thanks to Butterfly Conservation for letting us use their images throughout this article. For more information on UK butterflies and how you can help them, please visit Butterfly Conservation.org. Here you will find a wealth of information to help you find and identify butterflies and moths.

Butterfly Field Guides

Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland
#245262
The illustrations in this guide, from originals painted by Richard Lewington, show 58 British butterfly species. The paintings are a quick identification aid to the butterflies most likely to be seen and all are drawn to life size.

 

 

Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland
#245485
This handy pocket-sized book has become the essential guide to identifying the butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. It contains over 600 superb illustrations of the life stages of each species, together with beautiful artworks of butterflies in their natural settings.

 

Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide
#245243
Packed with beautiful photography, this is the definitive guide to all 482 species of European butterflies (42 more species compared to the first edition) with additional information on over 60 species found in the far east of Europe, stretching as far as the Urals and Caucasus.

 

Collins Butterfly Guide
#173624
This comprehensive guide describes and illustrates about 440 species, depicting both males and females and – where there is significant variation – subspecies. Distribution maps accompany every widespread species.

 

 

The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland
#245487
Provides comprehensive coverage of all our resident and migratory butterflies, including the latest information on newly discovered species such as the Cryptic Wood White and the Geranium Bronze. The definitive book on the subject, it includes fully updated distribution maps.

 

Field Guide to the Caterpillars of Great Britain and Ireland
#248267
This beautifully illustrated field guide covers caterpillars of the moth and butterfly species that are most likely to be encountered in the British Isles.

 

 

The NHBS Guide to UK Wild Flower Identification

 

Germander speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys). Image by L Wilkes

Plants and fungi are not only beautiful and interesting to study, but they also provide the building blocks on which all of our other wildlife (and ourselves) depend. Monitoring their abundance and diversity is key to understanding the health of our habitats. Plus, there are numerous studies that suggest that being around plants has benefits for our mental wellbeing, including improved concentration and memory as well as a better overall mood.

Spring and early summer are the perfect time to study your local plants as many will be in flower at this time, making them much easier to identify. (For other times of the year, a guide such as the Vegetative Key to the British Flora is invaluable – but it may take a bit of practice. For beginners, we suggest starting during the flowering season).

In this article we’ve featured a number of wild flowers that you’re likely to find, either in your garden or when out walking. These are separated into Town and Country/Woodland, but bear in mind that there will be some overlap, so it’s worth looking at both lists. Chances are that you’ll also find a few species that aren’t included here – you can find lots more information on the Plantlife website, including ways to submit your findings to their records. Or why not check out one of our wild flower ID guides listed at the bottom of the post?

Town

Here you will find nine of the most common species that you’re likely to encounter in urban areas. Pay particular attention to parks, waste ground and walls, and don’t forget to check the pavement cracks too.

LOOK OUT FOR:

 

Image by Catherine Singleton via Flickr

1. Daisy – Bellis Perennis
Flowers March-October.
Easily recognisable flower with a yellow centre and numerous white petals. Abundant in short grass such as parks and garden lawns.

 

 

Image by Far Closer via Flickr

2. Silverweed – Potentilla anserina
Flowers May-August.
Common on bare or well-walked ground such as the sides of tracks. Easy to recognise due to the silver-white underside of leaves.

 

 

Image by Siaron James via Flickr

3. Bramble – Rubus fructicosus
Flowers May-October.
Very abundant on waste ground as well as on heaths and in hedgerows and woodland. Thorny shrub with white or pale pink flowers.

 

 

Image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr

4. Scarlet Pimpernel – Anagallis arvensis
Flowers April-October.
Commonly found in gardens as well as arable fields, dunes, cliffs and heathland. Low growing and sprawling. Flowers are red with a purplish base.

 

 

 

 

Image by cazstar via Flickr

5. Rosebay Willowherb – Chamerion angustifolium
Flowers June-September.
Abundant on disturbed ground, verges and railways. Produces tall spires of purplish flowers. Often found in dense stands.

 

 

Image by Franco Folini via Flickr

 

6. Ivy-Leaved Toadflax – Cymbalaria mularis
Flowers May-September.
Often found on old walls and in pavement cracks. A straggly plant with ivy-like leaves and small lilac flowers with a yellow spot.

 

Image by Dean Morley via Flickr

7. Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) – Buddleja davidii
Flowers June-October.
Likes dry, disturbed places such as waste ground, railways, walls and roofs. Long sprays of purple, white or lilac flowers; a favourite of butterflies.

 

Image by Melanie Shaw via Flickr

8. Feverfew – Tanacetum parthenium
Flowers July-September.
Found in walls, pavement cracks and on waste ground. Flowers similar to a daisy but with shorter, broader petals. Aromatic leaves.

 

 

Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

9. White Clover – Trifolium repens
Flowers May-September.
Found in most types of grassland as well as on waste/disturbed ground. Globular clusters of flowers on long stalks; usually off-white or pale pink. The leaflets usually have a pale chevron shape near the base.

 

 

Country/Woodland

This list features nine species commonly found in the countryside and wooded areas. Hunt along the hedgerows and meadows as well as on river banks and in woodland clearings.

look out for:

Image by saydelah via Flickr

1. Cow Parsley – Anthriscus Sylvestris
Flowers late April-June.
Extremely common during May on roadside verges and in woodland rides and clearings. White flowers radiate out from the stem on spokes. Fern-like leaves.

Image from Lawn Health via Flickr

2. Germander speedwell – Veronica chamaedrys
Flowers March-July.
Common in grass and roadside verges. Bright blue flower with a white eye on a sprawling stem. Leaves oval and toothed.

 

Image by Amanda Slater via Flickr

3. Meadowsweet –Filipendula ulmaria
Flowers June-Sept.
Likes damp ground such as roadside ditches and wet woodland. Long stems with clusters of cream, fuzzy flowers which smell of honey or almonds.

 

Image by Melissa McMasters via Flickr

4. Herb Robert – Geranium robertianum
Flowers April-October.
Likes banks, woods, gardens and walls. Purple flowers with lighter stripes on petals. Whole plant may sometimes turn red.

 

Image by Siaron James via Flickr

5. Bugle – Ajuga reptans
Flowers April-June.
Common in damp deciduous woodland and other shady places as well as unmanaged grassland. Forms long stems with rosettes of green-purplish leaves and blue flowers marked with white.

 

 

 

Image by muffinn via Flickr

6. Red Campion – Silene dioica
Flowers April-October.
Likes hedgerows and woodland clearings. Five-petalled pink/red flowers on long stems with opposite leaves.

 

Image by johndal via Flickr

7. Greater Stitchwort – Stellaria holostea
Flowers late March-June.
Common in hedges and verges as well as in woodland. White flowers with five petals, split halfway to the base. Sprawling with narrow leaves.

Image by johndal via Flickr

 

8. Yellow pimpernel – Lysimachia nemorum
Flowers May-September.
Fairly common in moist, shady woodland (deciduous). Low growing/sprawling with yellow star-shaped flowers.

Image by Katja Schulz via Flickr

 

9. Lesser Celandine – Ficaria verna
Flowers February-May.
Likes slightly damp soil in woods, fields and churchyards. Yellow flowers on long stalks and glossy heart-shaped leaves.

 

Further reading:

The Wild Flower Key: How to Identify Wild Flowers, Trees and Shrubs in Britain and Ireland
#143162

 

 

 

 

Collins Wild Flower Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland
#225655

 

 

 

 

Harrap’s Wild Flowers: A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland
#245027

 

 

 

 

Guide to Flowers of Walks and Waysides
#236523

 

 

 

 

 

Pocket Guide to Wildflower Families
#229143

 

 

 

Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland
#198409

Please note that this book is currently out of print – however, second-hand books may be available online.

This Week in Biodiversity News – May 20th

Research carried out over a three-year period during a reintroduction project has shown that Pine Martens seem to establish their new territories more quickly with the presence of Pine Marten neighbours, but spend more time investigating their new habitat before settling when there are no other Pine Martens nearby.

A new study has hailed the rainforest fjords of southeastern Alaska as a global lichen hotspot. Over 900 lichen species have been documented in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, 27 of which are new to science. 

Researchers estimate that urban insect abundance would need to increase by a factor of at least 2.5 for urban Great Tit breeding success to match that of Great Tits living in forests. Providing nutritional supplementary food, such as mealworms, can help to boost urban Great Tit breeding success. 

Sauvages de ma rue (“wild things of my street”) is a chalking campaign that began in France to increase the awareness of plants growing in urban areas, encouraging the connection between people and surrounding wildlife. Botanical chalking has gone viral and can now be seen on the pavements of London, but chalking without permission is illegal in the UK.

Little is known about the threatened African Forest Elephant and this lack of knowledge hinders conservation efforts. A new study led by an international research team estimates that their population is between 40-80% smaller than previously thought.

Author Interview: Neil Middleton, Is That a Bat?

Neil Middleton is the owner of BatAbility Courses & Tuition, a training organisation that delivers bat-related skills development to customers throughout the UK and beyond. He has studied bats for over 25 years with a particular focus on their acoustic behaviour. Neil is the lead author of the popular Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland (2014) and in 2016 he wrote The Effective Ecologist which tackles the challenges facing ecologists as they endeavour to perform to the highest standard within their working environment.

His latest book, Is That a Bat?, published in January, provides a technical, yet accessible, guide to understanding and categorising non-bat sounds. Including a downloadable audio library, this ground-breaking book is designed to help bat workers be more confident in analysing their recordings, and also discusses the wider conservation benefits of studying non-bat sounds.

We recently caught up with Neil to chat about the book and about nocturnal sounds and their analysis.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Where did the idea for this book come from? And do you feel that this is a subject/area of study which has been largely overlooked?

The idea came from a number of different directions during the years prior to my starting work on this project. As someone doing lots of sound analysis for bats and also seeing the kind of queries that would get sent to me, it was apparent that bat workers spent at least some time, unproductively, trying to work out what species of bat it was, when it turned out not to be a bat at all.

Additionally, whilst working in darkness we often hear other sounds that get ignored or written off as ‘of no interest’. These sounds (eg a Schedule 1 bird species) could actually be very relevant to the project we are working on and the reason why ecologists are being sent to a site in the first place.  Saying ‘I don’t know. It’s not a bat, so it doesn’t matter’ isn’t really the best approach to take. When people see something, they tend to react more positively, as opposed to when they hear an unfamiliar sound. In darkness, however, sound is usually all you get. So, this put ‘in the frame’ the thoughts I had regarding audible sound encountered during darkness.

Finally, I had been asked many times over the years, questions such as, ‘do mice make high frequency sounds?’  Until relatively recently I didn’t have a proper answer to that question and probably, to be honest, didn’t even think that I cared or that it mattered when it came to doing bat work. I could not have been more wrong.  Not only mice, but all of our small terrestrial mammals make ultrasonic sounds that can get picked up by bat detectors, and many produce sounds that are quite similar to some of the echolocation pulses or social calls produced by bats.

Having written this book (and completed the immense amount of research that it has inevitably involved) do you now find yourself looking at and treating your own recorded data differently?

Oh yes, most definitely. I am now very nervous about being certain about anything slightly unusual. When I deliver presentations, I often use the expression, ‘You only know what you know’.  I feel this underpins my whole thought process now, as it also follows therefore that ‘You don’t know what you don’t know, and how much there is still to find out’. I honestly think, in some respects, we are only scratching the surface when it comes to our knowledge of bat-related sound, as well as all of the other species and things that make noise within a bat’s soundscape. I think we are sometimes far too sure of ourselves for our own good.

Following on from that, it also has consequences to our, sometimes misguided, reliance on automated classifiers. I get quite unsettled when I hear some people talking about complex stuff (eg separating Myotis species with high degrees of confidence) in such an authoritative manner. I have always preferred a more cautious approach, and even more so now. If anything, having now done this project, I would say that I have backtracked, in some respects quite far, from stuff that I once thought I knew reasonably well.

How do you feel about auto-ID software? Do you have concerns that it gives users a false sense of confidence in their results? And do you feel that, as technology becomes more advanced, it might be at the expense of expertise in both fieldcraft and analysis?

To answer the last part of this question first, yes on both accounts. I go into quite a lot of detail within the book as to why I think this way. The pages in the book regarding these areas were written and revisited many times during the process. When I look at my first draft of those pages (which I still have) it is interesting for me to see the journey I have been on and how my thinking changed during the process.

My viewpoint on automated classifiers at the start was quite negative in all respects. In some respects, the classifier challenge isn’t related purely to bats. If only it was, it would be so much easier. I was horrified to find classifiers confidently identifying lots of non-bat-related sounds as bats. This was the point for me where this work moved well into the ‘essential reading for bat workers’ category, as opposed to a ‘nice to know’. I remember that day extremely well. I was in a hotel room, near Gatwick, doing analysis of harvest mouse calls. They looked a bit like common pipistrelles, and the three classifiers I used that day all agreed! After publication, I was especially pleased to see that some of the reviews have very much labelled it as ‘essential reading’, for a number of reasons (ie not just the scenario discussed here).

But putting all that aside, for the moment, my final conclusion (for the time being?) is that there are definitely better classifiers than others, and there are different ways in which classifiers do things that will produce different results. I also feel that classifiers used sensibly, by experienced people (ie those who possess all the ‘essential’ knowledge), with audits in place, can be extremely powerful and useful. However, just like a human, a classifier has got so many things loaded against it arriving at the right answer (much of which is discussed in the book). So, it is fair to say that classifiers can come up with completely wrong answers. It is also fair to say that humans, even with experience, can also come up with completely wrong answers.

Therefore, neither approach is perfect, but the thing I now feel strongest about isn’t the classifiers themselves but, firstly, the lack of training people get in understanding how these systems work ‘behind the scenes’. And secondly, the lack of technical knowledge and experience of bat-related acoustics demonstrated by some of those who use these systems. I think it is too easy for organisations to give this important and often complicated work to junior members of the team, furnishing them with classifiers etc. It is then as easy for an inexperienced person to use these systems, write reports and influence decisions that are being made, without they themselves (or their bosses) appreciating that perhaps they or the classifier is getting it wrong (back to ‘You only know what you know’). Ultimately, during any project, the human decides (or at least they should). They decide what classifier to use. They decide the methods to use. They decide to blindly accept what the system is telling them, or not. They decide to do a proper manual audit of the results, or not. They decide what goes into a report and whether or not to be cautious with their interpretation. In the book I say something along the following lines:

‘Our bat detectors and associated software should be regarded as educated idiots. Very intelligent, but on occasions totally lacking any common sense. There is one part of the process, however, where ‘common sense’ needs to be applied. This is the part where a human decides what to do next. You need to keep pressing that ‘Common Sense’ button before jumping in with wrong conclusions and inappropriate decisions.’

Too many people blame a classifier for making mistakes, when in fact we should perhaps be collectively looking in the mirror. It is a tool, and like any tool there are right ways and wrong ways, right times and wrong times, to use it. ‘It’s a bad workman who blames his tools’. I think if you use a good classifier appropriately, and the methods/results are audited by an experienced person, the combination of the two, each allowing for the other’s weaknesses, can work well.

Do you think that increased awareness of the other noises recorded during bat surveys has wider implications for conservation? For example, can you provide us with a situation where bat survey recordings might be useful for other species/purposes?

Definitely. This is one of the main threads within this work and the examples are numerous. We live in a country which, relatively speaking, isn’t that diverse when it comes to night-time species (bats, other mammals, birds, insects…). But even in the British Isles we have bush crickets, moths, birds, shrews, voles etc that can all be identified either audibly or from the analysis of bat detector recordings. Now take this approach into more diverse parts of the world. We haven’t really begun to scratch many of the surfaces, as far as I can tell. Even just looking at the UK, I don’t believe for one second that ‘Is That A Bat?’ is anywhere close to the total picture of what we may encounter acoustically during darkness. There is so much more to find out and this knowledge will almost certainly lead to better decision making and associated benefits for conservation.

Bat survey technology is constantly progressing, and there is a lot of recording equipment and analysis software on the market. It’s not surprising that it can be confusing for even the most experienced ecologist. What advice would you give to an aspiring bat worker who wants to gain experience and skill?

Listen and learn from lots of different experienced people. Take all of their thoughts and blend these with your own developing technical knowledge and experience. Understanding how bat echolocation works and how this links to behaviour is an essential foundation that should be in place before someone begins to attempt to identify bat calls to a species or group level.  For example, the answer is often as much to do with where a bat is (relative to surroundings), as it is to do with what a bat is.

Be wary of anyone who tells you they can identify every bat call, or that the system they use is always right. Don’t be afraid to just call it what you know it is (eg Myotis), as opposed to trying to always get it diagnostically to species level (eg it’s a whiskered bat). In any case, for some jobs you won’t need to know the precise species on every occasion. Why risk your credibility when there is no reason to do so. When you start appreciating the reasons why you can’t identify every bat, you are beginning to become an experienced and respected bat worker. People who don’t really understand this subject are afraid not to identify everything. People who really understand this subject know that everything can’t be identified (not at this stage anyway!).

What was the most interesting, bizarre or unexpected non-bat sound you came across during the research and writing of this book?

I think my favourite is the Long-Eared Owl juvenile call, when slowed down 10 times. This is something many bat workers do with bat calls in order to make them audible, and with an unusual recording it might be how you would first listen to it before realising that it’s not a bat. It still makes me smile, for no scientific reason whatsoever.  It just reminds me of ‘Casey Jones & The Cannonball Express’ (the whistle from his steam engine). I know some of your younger readers will need to Google ‘Casey Jones’.

Finally – a question we ask all our authors – what is next for you? Do you have plans for further books?

Yes, two others. But I am scared to say too much at the moment for a number of reasons, including that once you say out loud what you are doing, the pressure is then piled on to get it done. I am just recovering from this one! So, I need some time to carefully consider which of the two ideas comes next and how to marry up the huge amount of time it takes to produce a book with other commitments.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Also by Neil Middleton:

Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland
#212405
Brings together the current state of knowledge of social calls relating to the bat species occurring within Britain and Ireland, with some additional examples from species represented elsewhere in Europe. Includes access to a downloadable library of calls to be used in conjunction with the book.

 

The Effective Ecologist
#226648
The Effective Ecologist shows you how to be more effective in your role, providing you with the skills and effective behaviours within the workplace that will enable your development as an ecologist. It explains what it means to be effective in the workplace and describes positive behaviours and how they can be adopted.

The NHBS Guide to UK Reptile Identification

Slow worm image by Smudge 9000 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The UK is home to six native species of reptile – three snakes (adder, grass snake and smooth snake) and three lizards (common lizard, sand lizard and slow worm). In early spring, snakes and lizards begin to emerge from hibernation – if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of one in your garden or when out walking in the countryside. (Interesting note: adders have now been recorded as being active during every month of the year in the UK, a behavioural change which is thought to be linked to overall warmer weather).  

This article aims to provide you with some of the key characteristics of each species which will help you to identify what you’re looking at. You will also find a list of field and identification guides at the bottom of the page which will give you lots more information about each species and help you with your ID.

Snakes

Snakes are part of the suborder Serpentes and, though they vary greatly in size and colour, their limbless, elongated bodies make their overall form very distinct (although some legless lizards, such as the slow worm, may often be mistaken for a snake). The skin of a snake is covered in scales and is a smooth, dry texture – this skin is shed periodically throughout the snake’s life. All snakes are carnivorous and many species have specialised skulls with extra joints enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads. Most species are non-venomous and either swallow their prey alive or kill it by constriction. 

All three snake species in the UK reproduce by producing eggs. However, both the adder and smooth snake incubate eggs internally whereas the grass snake lays them in rotting vegetation such as compost heaps. 

Adder (Vipera berus)

Adder image by Jo Garbutt via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

• Size: 60-80cm in length.
• Colour: Greyish with a dark and very distinctive zig-zag pattern down its back. Red eye.
• Habitat: Prefers woodland, heathland and moorland but may also be found in grassland or on the coast.
• Interesting fact: The adder is the only venomous snake in the UK. However, bites are very rare as adders are reclusive and would prefer to retreat than confront a human. 

Grass snake (Natrix helvetica)

Grass snake image by Bernard Dupont via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

• Size: 90-150cm in length.
• Colour: Usually greenish in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale belly and dark markings down the sides.
• Habitat: Favours wetland habitats but can also be found in grassland and gardens, especially those with a pond.
• Interesting fact: The grass snake is the longest snake found in the UK.

Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca)

Smooth snake image by Odd Wellies via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

• Size: 50-70cm in length.
• Colour: Usually dark grey or brown in colour. Similar to an adder but with a more slender body and without the zig-zag pattern along its back.
• Habitat: Very rare. Mainly found on a few sandy heaths in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey, although a couple of reintroduced populations exist in West Sussex and Devon.
• Interesting fact: The smooth snake is a constrictor, coiling around its prey to subdue it and crush it to death.

Lizards

Most lizards have four legs and run with a side-to-side motion. However, some, such as the slow worm, are legless. Lizards are mainly carnivorous and often employ a ‘sit-and-wait’ approach to catching prey. In the UK, lizards feed primarily on insects, molluscs and spiders.

Although all three species of UK lizard lay eggs, both the common lizard and slow worm incubate these internally, ‘giving birth’ in the late summer. Sand lizards lay shelled eggs that are buried in the sand where they are kept warm by the sun. 

Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

Common lizard image by Gail Hampshire via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

• Size: 10-15cm in length.
• Colour: Variable, but most commonly a brownish-grey, with rows of darker spots or stripes down the back and sides. Males have bright yellow or orange undersides with spots, while females have paler, plain bellies.
• Habitat: Heathland, moorland and grassland.
• Interesting fact: If threatened by a predator, the common lizard will shed its tail which continues to move – the lizard uses this distraction to make its escape. Although able to regrow its tail, the new one is usually shorter than the original.

Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis)

Sand lizard image by xulescu-g via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

• Size: Up to 20cm.
• Colour: Female sand lizards are a sandy-brown colour, with rows of dark blotches along the back. Males have green flanks that are at their brightest during the breeding season, making them easy to spot.
• Habitat: The sand lizard is very rare and can only be found on a few sandy heaths in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey with a few reintroduced populations in the south east, south west and Wales.
• Interesting fact: Sand lizards dig burrows for overnight refuge and hibernation. 

Slow worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow worm image by Oliver Haines

• Size: 40-50cm.
• Colour: Smooth, golden-grey skin. The males are paler in colour and occasionally have blue spots. The females tend to be larger with dark sides and some have a dark line down their back.
• Habitat: Slow worms live in most of Great Britain apart from Northern Ireland and are also present on most of the islands in Scotland and the Channel Isles.
• Interesting fact: Although similar in appearance to a snake, the slow worm has eyelids (which snakes do not) and can drop its tail when threatened by a predator.

In addition to the six native reptiles, several species of non-native reptile can be found in the UK – these include the wall lizard, green lizard, aesculapian snake, European pond terrapin and the red-eared slider.

Recommended reading:

Amphibians and Reptiles
#206083
A comprehensive guide to the native and non-native species of amphibian and reptile found in the British Isles. Professor Trevor Beebee covers the biology, ecology, conservation and identification of the British herpetofauna, and provides keys for the identification of adult and immature specimens as well as eggs, larvae and metamorphs.

Britain’s Reptiles and Amphibians
#174837
This detailed guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands has been produced with the aim of inspiring an increased level of interest in these exciting and fascinating animals. It is designed to help anyone who finds a lizard, snake, turtle, tortoise, terrapin, frog, toad or newt to identify it with confidence.

 

Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Ireland
#113260
This laminated pamphlet is produced by the Field Studies Council and covers the 13 species of non-marine reptile and amphibian which breed in Britain, as well as the five species which breed in Ireland. These include snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and newts.

 

Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Britain and Europe
#246563
This excellent field guide covers a total of 219 species, with a focus on identification and geographical variation. The species text also covers distribution, habitat and behaviour. Superb colour illustrations by talented artist Ilian Velikov depict every species.

 

 

The Amphibians and Reptiles of Scotland
#235838
This book is designed to be an interesting and informative guide to the amphibians and reptiles that are found in the wild in Scotland. The authors have focused on those species native to Scotland, plus those which are non-native but are breeding in the wild.

This Week in Biodiversity News – May 6th

Until now, it was not known how Koalas drink in the wild, but now the mystery has been solved. For the first time, Koalas have been observed licking the water running down smooth tree trunks during rainy weather. 

An animatronic spy hummingbird has been used to film the mass flight of Monarch butterflies as they leave their wintering grounds in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. 

Animals that do not hibernate often use more energy to maintain their body temperatures during the winter. Common Shrews, however, do not need to increase their metabolic rate and instead maintain an equally active metabolism in both the summer and winter months.

Sinharaja is a lowland rainforest and a designated UNESCO world heritage site in Sri Lanka. It is here that a rare new orchid species has been discovered. This new species has been named Gastrodia gunatillekeorum after the two renowned forest ecologists Nimal and Savithri Gunatilleke. 

With the help of camera traps, a Brown Bear has been spotted in the Invernadeiro national park in Spain for the first time in 150 years. The Brown Bear has been a protected species in Spain since 1973.

Author Interview: Patrick Barkham, Wild Child: Coming Home to Nature

In this wonderful new book, Patrick Barkham draws on his own experience as a parent, a forest school volunteer and from his own childhood spent roaming outdoors to explore the positive effects rekindling children’s relationship with nature can have.

Patrick has kindly answered our questions about his new book and provided a limited number of signed bookplates, which will be included with this book on a first come first served basis.

1. What made you decide to write Wild Child

Having children is obviously a life-changing moment for every parent and I found myself suddenly fascinated by children and newly keen to write about them. I was aware of all the anxiety around children being on screens all the time but I hadn’t actually fully considered this historic moment in western child-rearing. We have become an indoor species in the blink of an eye, and I wanted to explore the implications of that, and how we as parents, grandparents, teachers and guardians might give children the gift of more time outdoors. I also wanted to celebrate “ordinary” neighbourhood nature of the kind we can all encounter.

2. What do you see as the main difference between your childhood and your children’s?

I grew up in the countryside in the 1980s and roamed freely with friends on quiet country lanes and the local common. When my twins became eight, it suddenly struck me that they had never been off on their own, in the countryside, without adults in view or close by. What’s more, almost no parent would regard this as strange. In fact, allowing eight-year-olds to roam without adult supervision would be seen as a dereliction of duty, according to the values of modern parenting.

My experience is pretty universal – studies confirm that children’s “home range” has shrank to their private space – their house and garden (if they have one). Childhood is now tightly regulated by adults. This has benefits – it’s never been safer for a child – but also grave drawbacks, including a loss of creativity and a loss of opportunities for children to form their own bonds with wild nature. Our lives are much poorer without intimate relationships with other species. We are also less likely to take action to tackle the biodiversity crisis if we have no direct experience of, and feeling for, other forms of life whether plant, animal or fungi!

3. What do you think children most gain from being close to nature?

Joy, excitement, fun, ceaseless stimulation, sensitivity, companionship, solace, comfort, peace – all the things we get from it too. There’s a huge body of scientific evidence now showing the mental and physical benefits of time in green spaces, and increasing evidence that the more “wild” or biodiverse those spaces, the better they are for us. We need nature, and of course as the dominant species on the planet we need to learn to appreciate, value and protect it.

4. Are you hopeful your children will be part of a new culture where nature is part of everyone’s life, not just seen as a town and country or even a ‘class’ divide?

We have to hope, but I’m also realistic. British society is becoming increasingly urbanised. Traffic – a major and rational obstacle to children playing freely outside – is still growing. Consumption shows little sign of slowing. And yet without any real government backing, there is a newly vibrant movement to add more nature to people’s lives – the rise of the forest school movement for instance. Wildlife charities are doing heroic education work too. But we still need massive, societal changes to reconfigure our species’ relationship with nature. We need a new kind of schooling, new (government) support for urban wild spaces, and far more wildlife-friendly planning rules for new housing.

Just on class – debates about children and nature are seen as a middle-class concern, and they tend to be because poorer families are too focused on putting food on the table. But we need to give all people better access to nature and wild spaces – this is a free source of good health (and occasionally even food) and it benefits poorer people more than the wealthy who can purchase wild experiences.

5. I was fascinated to read how resistance to pathogens can be enhanced by exposure to more biodiversity; can you precis that a little here?

We are only beginning to scientifically understand the influence of billions of micro-organisms, or microbiota on our lives. We have more bacteria in our guts than human cells in our bodies. Most are harmless, some are useful and a few may be dangerous pathogens. Our immune system is rather like a computer with hardware and software but no data. Early in life, it must rapidly collect data from diverse microbial sources, learning which are harmful and which are beneficial. If our body encounters a diverse range of different bacteria, particularly when young, we are more likely to recognise and respond to novel viruses.

This is not the popular but mistaken idea that we’ve become “too clean”. Hygiene is vital for good health. But, rather, urban living does not deliver us the diversity of microbes that we need. So we’re witnessing an explosion of allergies such as hay fever and illnesses related to failing immunity or inappropriate inflammatory responses such as Crohn’s disease.

Studies have shown that people living in “traditional” ways – in the countryside, more closely with animals ­– have fewer such illnesses. Microbiologists’ prescriptions for healthier children include a varied diet including a far wider range of vegetables but also more exposure to diverse green space. Scientists have proven the benefits of exposure to soil organisms in mice but this has yet to be fully explored for humans. It is a fair hypothesis, however, to expect that more biodiverse places contain a wider range of microbiota, and be better for us than manicured monocultures.

6. Although of little comfort to the thousands of people terribly affected by COVID – 19, do you think the forced change of pace and restrictions on movement has presented any opportunities for the appreciation of nature?

For those of us lucky enough to have gardens or easy access to green space, lockdown has been a wonderful moment to enjoy wildlife. Without traffic noise, the spring dawn chorus has been sensational! Lockdown has also revealed that poorer and ethnic minority communities have less access to green space. So this is an incredible moment of revelation and opportunity. Why can’t we have monthly Sundays when we all vow not to use our cars? Why can’t a new generation of urban parks and wild spaces be part of the post-coronavirus settlement, just as National Parks were introduced after the Second World War? We can now see, hear and taste a post-peak oil world, where we consume less, travel less, and live more. It could be so beautiful.

7. Do all your friends and colleagues share your enthusiasm for forest school?

No they don’t, and this is great because it means I have to win them over! Forest School is a concept imported from Denmark in the 1990s, we have a Forest Schools Association charity, and the idea is based around principles of child-led games and education in a woodland setting, with a camp fire. But there is also a growth in other forms of equally good outdoor learning.

All these different kinds of forest school are seen as playing in the woods – nice, but hardly essential to young people’s lives, or equipping them for the global race. It is up to people like me – and hopefully you – to show them some of the evidence that children are more creative, more resilient, with improved concentration and show better attainment in conventional schooling if they are given more free play outside, and in wild spaces.

8. Would you encourage people with the time to get involved with forest school, and if so, how would it benefit them?

I began volunteering at an outdoor nursery where my children went, and I was astounded by how well I felt after a day outdoors. It delivered the kind of sustained high you get after a day walking in the mountains or really hard gardening. Most of us office-workers aren’t familiar with outdoor labour!

I still volunteer most weeks at the forest school session run by my local state primary school (despite financial challenges, many state schools are now offering pupils some forest schooling). Children are the nicest workmates – they are so honest and enthusiastic, and they respond to the outside almost universally with something like unconfined joy.

In three years volunteering at forest schools I have honestly only twice encountered seriously unhappy children, and that’s usually because they aren’t wearing enough and are cold. I would urge anyone with time on their hands to give it a try – what’s more important than educating our children? And I think you will love it!

9. I like the ‘Things to Do with Children Outdoors’ appendix at the back of the book; was there one or two favourite pastimes that were the most accessible and rewarding that you could recommend?

I’d just like to declare a basic principle: children don’t need leading, or teaching – what they most require is for us adults to facilitate free play outdoors. They need to experience wildlife themselves, without too many rules, without too much moralising, without being told “don’t touch – it’s rare/delicate/about to become extinct”. Obviously a bit of guidance is good but let them choose their own adventure. And they will.

Apart from that, my children love different things. I enjoy going nest-hunting and butterfly-hunting with Esme, collecting shells and conkers with Milly and making dens with Ted. As we play outside, we keep an eye on what’s happening around us, and something exciting – the flash of a sparrowhawk, the scuttle of a rabbit – always unfolds.

10. Are you working on any new projects you can tell us about?

I am very excited to be writing the official biography of Roger Deakin, the nature writer and author of Waterlog and Wildwood. Most of us writers lead incredibly boring lives but Roger didn’t. I’m also researching a book for a TV series about wildlife and editing an anthology of British nature writing called The Wild Isles, which will be published next spring. It has been agonising having to choose between so many gorgeous and important pieces of writing!

Wild Child: Coming Home to Nature
Hardback,  May 2020,  £13.99 £16.99

Patrick Barkham draws on his own experience as a parent and a forest school volunteer to explore the relationship between children and nature.

 

Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and educated at Cambridge University. His first book, The Butterfly Isles, was shortlisted for the 2011 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prize. His next book Badgerlands, was hailed by Chris Packham as “a must read for all Britain’s naturalists” and was shortlisted for both the 2014 RSL Ondaatje Prize and the inaugural Wainwright Prize for Nature and Travel Writing.

Browse more writing from Patrick Barkham at NHBS

Vintage: Publisher of the Month

Launched in the United Kingdom in 1990, VINTAGE publishes work from some of the most eminent and prestigious naturalists today; providing a platform for authors such as: Peter Marren, Dave Goulson, Richard Mabey, Mark Cocker, Tim Dee and Helen Macdonald to name but a few.

We are delighted to announce VINTAGE as our Publisher of the Month for May: a chance in these challenging times to immerse yourself in eloquent, knowledgeable and thought-provoking writing.

We have price-offers on our top fifty VINTAGE titles and have showcased below our top ten across their range:

The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet
By: Dave Goulson
Paperback| April 2020| £7.99 £9.99
Dave Goulson reveals how, with small changes, gardens could become wildlife havens.

Read our author interview here.

 

Birds Britannica
By: Mark Cocker & Richard Mabey
Hardback | April 2020| £39.99 £49.99
Fifteen years after the very successful first edition:  this second edition, pays homage to the strong bond the British have with birds.

 

Greenery: Journeys in Springtime
By: Tim Dee
Hardback | March 2020| £15.99 £18.99
Spring moves north at about walking pace. In his latest writing, author Tim Dee follows its moving front and tells of the animals and people he encounters on the way.  Read our author interview here.

 

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures
By: Merlin Sheldrake
Hardback | Due Sept 2020| £16.99 £19.99
An immersive trip into the largely unknown world of fungi, which we at NHBS are particularly excited to read.

 

Chasing the Ghost: My Search for All the Wild Flowers of Britain
By: Peter Marren
Paperback | March 2019| £7.99 £9.99
Join renowned naturalist Peter Marren on an exciting quest to find every species of wild plant native to Britain.

 

H is for Hawk
By: Helen Macdonald
Paperback | Feb 2015| £7.99 £9.99
An unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief expressed through the trials of training a goshawk.

 

Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?
By: Mark Cocker
Paperback | April 2019 | £7.99 £9.99
Mark Cocker attempts to solve a puzzle: why do the British love their countryside, yet have reduced it to one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth.

 

The Wren: A Biography
By: Stephen Moss
Hardback | April 2019 | £9.99 £12.99
With beautiful illustrations throughout, this captivating year-in-the-life biography reveals the hidden secrets of this fascinating bird that lives right on our doorstep.

 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
By: Yuval Noah Harari
Paperback | Sept 2016 | £8.99 £10.99
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power …and our future.

 

Turning the Boat for Home: A Life Writing about Nature
By: Richard Mabey
Hardback | Oct 2019 | £13.99 £18.99
Richard Mabey is often referred to as ‘the father of modern nature writing.’ We currently have a limited number of signed, first editions. Read our author interview

Browse all VINTAGE books at NHBS

All prices correct at the time of this article’s publication.

Watching Wildlife – New Browning trail cameras for 2020

Browning trail cameras are becoming an increasingly popular choice for conservationists and naturalists in the UK and Europe. Combining innovative design, quality workmanship and materials with competitive pricing, their high-quality specifications and comprehensive range of features make them ideal for monitoring wildlife. They are easy-to-use with minimal setup required and feature robust, camouflage casings together with a whole host of standard and additional features. Below we will showcase the new Browning cameras that are being released in 2020.

Recent additions to the Browning range include the Strike Force HD Max, Dark Ops HD Max, Recon Force Edge and Spec Ops Edge. Two further models, the Patriot and Recon Force Edge 4K, are also due to be released later in 2020. These cameras offer many of the great features currently present in the Browning range, but with a few exciting improvements, such as dual-lens technology, adjustable (and quicker) trigger speeds and long-range invisible infrared LEDs.

Dual-Lens Technology

Browning are one of the only camera manufacturers to use dual-lens technology. Currently available in several of their models, including the new Patriot, these cameras have a specially tailored lens and sensor combination for capturing daytime images. A second, military-grade sensor and lens allow the camera to take crisp night-time images with the use of infrared illumination. This dual-lens system means that footage can be taken in a range of light conditions without ever compromising on quality.

The Patriot is the latest addition to the dual-lens family of Browning cameras. Combined with the ability to capture 24MP images and 1920 x 1080p videos, the image quality from this camera is pretty hard to beat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trigger speeds

The Strike Force HD Max and Dark Ops HD Max, as well as the Spec Ops Edge and Recon Force Edge cameras, all feature adjustable trigger speeds of 0.2/0.3/0.4-0.7 seconds. Being able to alter the trigger speed allows you to tailor the camera to suit your location and target animal. This may take a little practice and experience, but even the tiniest tweak can make a difference to the composition of your image. At best it can mean the difference between capturing a great shot and being left with an image of a vanishing tail.

The Patriot features a trigger speed of just 0.15 seconds – ideal for capturing even the fastest moving animals.

Invisible infrared illumination

The Dark Op HD Max, Patriot and Spec Ops Edge all offer completely invisible night-time illumination. Provided by an array of infrared LEDs, this has obvious benefits when recording nocturnal wildlife. The camera will remain completely invisible, even when recording, making it more likely that you will capture several images of your subject. (It is also more likely that the animal will be filmed behaving naturally, rather than fleeing from the camera flash). Invisible LEDs also help to keep your camera safe from theft and vandalism; provided that it is sited in an unobtrusive spot and/or is well camouflaged, it is unlikely to be spotted, even when recording at night.

It is worth noting that invisible LEDs generally have a shorter illumination range than standard LEDs (usually by around 6-10m), and this should be taken into consideration when choosing and using your camera. For those wanting the best of both worlds, the Browning Patriot offers no-glow LEDs which illuminate up to 34m, a distance that is comparable to many standard LED cameras.

Standard camera features

All of the cameras in Browning’s range come with several excellent features as standard. Illumasmart technology automatically adjusts the infrared flash to make sure that your night-time footage is bright enough, without being over-exposed. Smart IR video tells the camera to continue recording as long as the animal is active within the sensor range. SD card management options let you overwrite old images on the SD card, allowing your camera to continue recording as long as the batteries will last. Some of the cameras, including the Recon Force Edge and soon-to-be-released Patriot, also include a built-in tripod, making setup in the field quick and easy.

The table below provides you with a quick comparison between the six new camera models. Or click on the images beneath to visit the product pages at nhbs.com where you can find full product descriptions and specifications along with up-to-date pricing.

Strike Force HD Max
#249809
• 18MP images, 1600 x 900p HD video
• Adjustable 0.3s-0.7s trigger speed
• ‘Zero-blur’ night-time images
• Smart IR video

 

 

Dark Ops HD Max
#249810
• 18MP images, 1600 x 900p HD video
• No-glow infrared LEDs
• Adjustable 0.3s-0.7s trigger speed
• ‘Zero-blur’ night-time images

 

 

Recon Force Edge
#249813
• 20MP images, 1920 x 1080p video
• 0.2-0.7 adjustable trigger speed
• Colour viewing screen
• Tree mount bracket

 

 

 

Spec Ops Edge
#249812
• 20MP images, 1920 x 1080p HD video
• Adjustable 0.2-0.7 second trigger speed
• No-glow night vision LEDs
• Colour viewing screen

 

 

 

Patriot
#249811
• 24MP images, 1920 x 1080 HD video
• 0.15 second trigger speed
• Dual-lens technology
• No-glow infrared LEDs

 

 

 

Recon Force Edge 4K
#249815
• 32MP images, 4K video
• 0.4-0.7 second adjustable trigger speed
• Colour viewing screen
• Built-in tree bracket

 

 

Head over to nhbs.com to explore the complete range of Browning cameras or take a look at our Watching Wildlife guide on how to choose the right trail camera.