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Wildlife cameras

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default Wildlife cameras

Post by Chilli-head on 7th April 2015, 12:33 pm

I have always had my doubts about thore recommended sizes for the holes in bird boxes that the RSPB website recommend.  Seem too small for me.  Now I have definitive evidence !  Whilst working in the garden, Mrs C-H and I were puzzling over the rat-tat-tat noises coming from nearby.  Following the sound, we watched a little blue tit busying itself trying to peck the hole bigger, and watching it wriggle in and out you could see why !  Quite comical really.

Anyway, this is the box with the camera in it, so we put it on to have a spy at what is happening inside - start of nest building !  How exciting, our very own Springwatch.  And, the best bit - it is all built from the curly wood shavings I put on the compost heap a few days ago.  Indeed, there are whisps of wood shavings sticking out of all the birds nests in our garden Very Happy


Last edited by Chilli-head on 7th September 2017, 8:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th April 2015, 10:07 am

That is exciting CH. I've often thought about a nestbox with a camera but we have so many natural nesting sites around that I don't know if I could tempt something closer.
I have watched the osprey webcam at Loch of the Lowes for the last 5 seasons ever since we saw 'Lady' catching a fish for her chicks when we visited. She is believed to have hatched there 30+ years ago and last year was her 24th year on the same nest. She has raised 50 chicks there. Last year her eggs failed to hatch - most likely lack of fertility but she also had a new, young mate who was less than diligent about looking after them when it was his turn. So far, this year she has not returned - her mate has been back on the nest for a week, so it is looking unlikely that she will make a 25th season but she has turned up quite late in the past and bad weather over Europe has delayed some osprey migration this year so there is still a glimmer of hope.
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Post by FloBear on 11th April 2015, 12:21 pm

A bird box camera is on my personal wish-list though I don't know when I'll get round to doing anything about it. Exciting and sometimes disappointing from experiences of others I have spoken to - usually when the whole brood is predated just when you thought they were going to make it to the outside world.
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th May 2015, 10:25 am

I put the first pictures in the May morning thread, though you might like an update.

Hungry:


Exhausted by the effort of digestion !


These hatched a couple of days ago. I think there were 6 chicks and 4 unhatched eggs when we last got a clear view.
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Post by Ploshkin on 14th May 2015, 4:33 pm

Oh that's lovely. We used to have blue tits nesting above the kitchen door until the rotten piece of wood was replaced. The amount of feeding flights that the parents made was quite staggering. They're so tiny, you wonder where they get enough energy from.

Our swallows returned 2 days ago.
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Post by Chilli-head on 31st May 2015, 9:19 pm

Well, as anticipated, bird box cam has made difficult viewing at times.  From about 10 eggs,  3 failed to hatch, then it has been a steady dwindling in numbers of chicks.  I presume the unusually cold May has made for a scarecity of caterpillars on which the young are fed.  The longer foraging times for the parents mean the chicks are left getting coldr for longer, and the result is that they now have just one chick remaining.  But that one sees to be now mature enough to cope with a wider range of foods, and so the parent's journeys are shorter, so it is growing well.  It has been flapping its wings about and clambering around in the nest; I expect it will fledge in the next day or two.

It is interesting to see nature in action. It highlights to me the nonsense of applying human values to other animals; what - in human terms - would be a tragedy, is just normal. Clearly it can't be expected that those 10 eggs all produce succsssful new birds. It is just natural selection in action, ensuring the health of the species at the expense of the weaker individuals. Quite a contrast to humans, where each individual is valued and nurtured with whatever modern medcine can do. We have largely bypassed nature's natural selection. We are on our own now. Scary thought.
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Post by Ploshkin on 1st June 2015, 7:27 pm

It's going to be a bad breeding year for a lot of birds this year but I'm glad you have one that looks as though it will make it. I think our local bat population is going to take another knock this year. 2012 was disastrous for them but as you say CH the strongest ones survived which will hopefully help them get through the current difficult conditions.
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Post by Chilli-head on 3rd June 2015, 1:41 pm

Looks like the survivor has fledged yesterday; nestbox is now empty. Good luck to in out in the big wide world. Hopefully it will not encounter one of the neighbours cats - unlike the poor blackbird dead on our lawn the other day Evil or Very Mad
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Post by Chilli-head on 15th March 2017, 10:10 am

I heard a familiar tapping noise from the garden this morning; a blue tit pecking around the nestbox hole ... Why do they do that ? It is not that it needs to be bigger, it seems to be part of the ritual. That would seem to go against the advice I've seen that placing a metal plate around the entrance hole is a good idea to stop it getting enlarged by other creatures in order to predate the chicks. Don't want any chipped beaks !

Anyway, we seem to have an interested pair this year, lets hope they have more sucess.
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Post by Ploshkin on 15th March 2017, 3:22 pm

Fingers crossed. What happened last year - no residents or a failed brood?.
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Post by Chilli-head on 15th March 2017, 4:04 pm

No takers for that box last year. But we did have long tailed tits in one of our viburnums, and I have seen some back this year.

The nestbox seems to specifically attract blue tits. Only they show any interest. I know different sizes of holes attract different birds, but it seems surprisingly selective.
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Post by FloBear on 7th September 2017, 6:10 pm

Not a birdbox cam but didn't seem worth starting a separate thread.
A Trail camera is my recent acquisition. The sighting of hedgehog poo inspired me to get on and buy one. Unfortunately my prickly visitor must have found better pickings in the time it took the camera to arrive.
I have only managed to see a fox and a rat - it's difficult to find a good place to site the camera as there aren't many clear lines of sight. One time, when I had it on a path, there were small birds hopping about at dawn and chirping.



I did put food out so he'd hang around a bit though, as a rule I don't like to encourage them
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Post by Chilli-head on 7th September 2017, 8:50 pm

Thread title  updated so as to include any other lovely wild goings on. I hope you  get  some  hedgehog  pictures, my favourite garden visitor smitten
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Post by Ploshkin on 7th September 2017, 8:58 pm

I must have inadvertently posted in the by thread.  What type s your trail camera Flobear?  I've thought about getting one a few times but it would need to be one that a technodunce could use.
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Post by FloBear on 7th September 2017, 10:25 pm

Mine's a Bushnell. I asked around on another forum I belong to and looked at three different makes owned by other users. They all did very similar things and this one was £30 or £40 less than the others. It's not difficult to use, the main disadvantage is that the types of files it uses are not necessarily recognised by Macs or older PCs. It's easy enough to convert them, just a small free program and one extra step.
CH, I'm very fond of hedgehogs too but fear that my little visitor has gone to pastures new.
Not sure what a 'by thread' is, Ploshkin !
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th September 2017, 10:50 am

A 'by thread' is a figment of autocorrect's imagination.

I'm also a big fan of hedgehogs and we have had quite a few round here this year. I make sure I do a pit patrol every morning (that's the lorry inspection pit) when it's not covered because hedgehogs have a habit of falling in - I swear I had the same one out of there three or four times last year. I don't think it is possible to put in an escape ramp as it would take up half the pit which is about 4' deep.
We get a lot of frogs and toads in there sometimes, we've also had a piglet and a calf in it! If we go away we always put the cover boards on.

What are the most essential features on a trail camera Flobear and what bells and whistles are unnecessary? Would a bottom of the range Bushnell suffice as I would only want it for curiousity purposes.
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Post by FloBear on 8th September 2017, 2:13 pm

I will have a little ponder about the camera and get back to you.
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Post by FloBear on 8th September 2017, 5:22 pm

SpyPoint 680081 Force-11D Surveillance Camera
Minox DCT450
Bushnell nature view
are the ones owned by people on the gardening forum.
Mine is Bushnell Trophy cam essential e2 and was about £123 without the SD card.
According to Amazon the Spypoint is supplied by Carmarthen cameras. My Welsh geography is not fab but I have an idea that's somewhere in Mid Wales though could be silly miles away of course!
The lady who bought the Minox went to a shop in Warrington for advice as she knew nothing and, obviously, getting someone who knows something to give you a guided tour is ideal.
It's quite hard to say what features to go for. Mine does stills, which I haven't tried, and video clips up to 15 seconds. The other chap's Bushnell can be anything up to 60 seconds. 15 sounds sounds rather short but, as was pointed out to me, you don't want to be wasting batteries filming something for a minute when it disappeared after 10 seconds.
A viewer to check you are pointing at the right place would be handy but I guess that would put the price up. I have learnt by trial and improvement which is how I got a whole fox this time instead of a set of rather handsome ears which was my first effort.
I won't rabbit on as I know very little but, if you do a bit of research and have any specific questions I  may be able to answer them.
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Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2017, 5:32 pm

When I bought our nestbox camera, someone recommended a company called Nature Cameras to me. Googling produced a very surprising result, on account of N and M being adjacent on the keyboard Embarassed
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Post by FloBear on 8th September 2017, 5:48 pm

Chilli-head Laughing Laughing
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Post by Dandelion on 8th September 2017, 7:56 pm

Chilli-head wrote:When I bought our nestbox camera, someone recommended a company called Nature Cameras to me.   Googling produced a very surprising result, on account of N and M being adjacent on the keyboard Embarassed

Ha ha!! That reminds me of the time when I googled the shampoo I used at the time, called 'Naked', and wanted to find out what other products they sold. Instead of putting 'Naked shampoo' into google, I just typed in 'naked'. Shocked Shocked Shocked

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Post by FloBear on 8th September 2017, 8:31 pm

Even when you don't make a mistake you can get surprises. Dick King Smith the children's author was filtered out by our school computers but when one child put in a search for funky(or similar word, can't recall) trainers he got some very odd pictures of scantily clad women.
And be very wary of typing in a search for bears if there's any danger of images returned from US websites Shocked Embarassed
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th September 2017, 8:40 am

.... and it's impossible to find out why your chicks are bald.  I didn't realise that there were men who had a penchant for ladies with no hair.
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Post by FloBear on 9th September 2017, 11:53 am

Hehehe

By the way, a caveat about Trail Cameras - well, mine at least. On the box it says 'Discover animals from all over the world' but I have no evidence of the nocturnal habits of jaguars or fruit bats yet.
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