Frilled Dragons Come Alive in Darwin.
One of the most iconic animals of the Top End is not the crocodile but the Frilled Lizard or Frill-necked Lizard Chlamydosaurus kingii) – or just Frillies. If you have never seen one of these in the wild it is possibly for one of two reasons. The first is bad timing; if you go before November or after March they are scarce. Usually in the wet season, these guys are very abundant and visible on roads, trees and on the ground feeding. The second reason might be that to they are rather clever chaps and to the see them is difficult. As you are walking along the track or driving the road, the frillies are usually waist to shoulder height on trees. They watch out for predators well and as the predator comes they circle around the other side and only their spindly legs give them away. Their camouflage does the rest. So look for two knobby knees at the height they might even do a peek a boo act with their head to check where you are too! Watch the video. (continue reading…)
I came across something the other day called a “trail camera”. Basically it’s a weatherproof stills/video camera with an infra-red sensor that you can leave outside in your yard or anywhere you like. You program it to take either a series of stills or video clips when the sensor is triggered, e.g. if an animal walks in front of it. It can be used for wildlife watching, farm surveillance, security, etc. One website I saw suggested you could use it to find out what’s been secretly eating your prize veggies at night!
Output photo/video quality is apparently lower than typically found in today’s ‘normal’ digital cameras, but bear in mind that these cameras are capable of taking video in complete darkness without using normal flash lighting (most use a special ‘dark flash’ that doesn’t affect the animals). They are also weatherproof, so can be used in ways you couldn’t use your normal digicam or mobile phone. I think it’s the ability to remotely capture nocturnal activity that appeals to me the most.
Prices seem to range from around $200 to $1000. Images/videos are saved to a standard SD card. So you set your camera up, leave it to do its thing, then go back later and retrieve the SD card and upload to your computer and see what you captured. And because it only records when the sensor is triggered, you won’t just have hours of empty footage like a normal video camera.
I found a couple of Aussie websites that are selling them.
Anyone out there using one of these? Send us your thoughts. Or lend us one to review!!!