Text written and photos and videos selected by Tiit Hunt, www.rmk.ee
Estonian text posted 11.04.2018
Last year in the autumn we installed the web Camera at the Metsküla shore, in a site from where at about five kilometres distance in 2013 the first evidence came to prove the presence of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Estonia.
Now we will leave the jackals on their own in Metsküla and bring to mind who has been seen and heard in camera view during the five months.
Already in the evening at the installation of the camera the ringing howl of two jackals sounded from the beach. The jackals here also howl at propeller-driven airplanes and the evening plane between Kuressaare and
On a couple of occasions we could see three jackals simultaneously in camera view, in most cases they were solitary or two together. The little video record of the jackal with the nice fur was made in the juniper stand about a hundred meters from the webcam.
The jackals appeared rarely in camera view after the Matsalu Sound had frozen. With this they got an addition of the new sound-sized area where they could snoop around and so the probability of coming in camera view lessened.
Still there were enough of their tracks here in the juniper stand immediately beside it and surprisingly also plenty of tracks from their prey animal, the brown hare.
Foxes could be seen in camera view almost daily, at least four different individuals visited the shore strip regularly, one of them badly damaged by mange. The argument that the jackal chases foxes out of its habitat did not seem to be true for Metsküla - it might be different in our conditions. The raccoon dogs however seem probably to have been put away by the jackals.
A splendid surprise in the camera was of course the female lynx with two young ones from last spring; another time a solitary lynx marched by very purposefully further away.
Once a wolf posed a few meters away beside the little bits of lure food.
On the edge of the shore waterline before freezing an otter was busy from time to time.
Such animals we saw. Birds are also animals and the winged friends offered surprises in January lapwings could still be heard and roving starling flocks could be seen.
I would never have believed earlier that it would be in any way common, but now …A goshawk that has become rare pleased on cloudy as well as sunny days with its presence, the young female bird thought that this was a good place to manage the winter.
White-tailed eagles, mute swans, grey heron, ravens, magpies, hooded crows …
Sobriefly summarized this is five months of activity in the camera on the southern shore of Matsalu; many episodes of course remained unseen and many of them were not set down in writing.
In addition to our thanks to Hatcam, EENet, Looduskalender and Elisa, many thanks also to Mait Alanurm and his people and to Andrus Kärvet, who helped to realize the concept of the jackal camera.
PS: When the ice melts the camera goes to the Sassi peninsula to monitor the spring migration of birds.