At this time of year, everything kicks off in my garden as Spring starts to take hold and my nest boxes start to have visitors.
This week, I was thrilled to be able to get my Oak Tree nest box live streaming on my website. This is my staple nest box each year. I have had blue tits nesting in this location for the last 7 or so years and it is always a pretty successful box. Located on an Oak tree, hatch usually corresponds to the oak coming into leaf , which means plenty of caterpillars for the youngsters. I hope that you will enjoy watching the nest being built. It is predominantly moss in the early stages and, as it nears completion, it will be lined with softer materials. You will see the blue tit fluttering its wings in the base of the box. This behaviour is always the first sign that they are going to nest there. They do it before any nest materials are in the box. Subsequently, this action pushes the nesting materials to the edges of the space and gradually forms the cup in which the eggs will be laid.
In the early stages, they seem to spend as much time taking materials out as they do bringing them in. Sometimes, one brings something in and the other takes it out!
There has been some activity in the Magnolia Terrace.... but no nesting at present. I actually think the Oak tree blue tits are in and out of there too. They are not very keen on the decor. As in a natural nest space, they will often adapt it to their needs. ...
I am a little confused by Rosie, my teapot robin though. Every morning, she goes into the teapot and spends time in there, sometimes up to half an hour. I was expecting see a clutch of eggs in there when I peeked in this afternoon, but there is still just a single egg. I'm not sure what is going on, but I will keep the camera there for a bit to see what happens.
It's been nice to see the blackcap back in the garden and the male was singing his scratchy song this morning when I left for a run.
This footage is captured by a Hikvision PTZ camera that I has been loaned to be. It is epic and the zoom and the quality is incredible!
I love being able to zoom in on species. I was working at my desk today when this Great-spotted woodpecker arrived. I love these birds and they are regular visitors here.
Finally, my foxes! Every night, I put some dried dog biscuits out in the field next to my garden. I tend to put food out between 7-8pm. You are just about guaranteed to be able to see them on the live stream, on my website.
I have been watching foxes here for over a decade. This year, there are at least 5 individuals visiting. These are all related I think. Some of last year's cubs still visit and there are often a lot of bickering between these individuals. There are two pregnant vixens and the dog fox. Watch out for the black markings on their legs to differentiate between individuals.
This vixen is very close to giving birth. I am hoping her den is close by as, if it is, she will bring the cubs here. They usually appear at the end of May/ beginning of June.
This is a clip from last year! With two vixens pregnant, I feel there is a good chance we will see cubs here!
As you can imagine, it takes a huge amount of time to keep monitoring, lifting and processing footage. I will do my best to keep all the feeds up to date. These videos are loaded into YouTube playlists which are embedded into the camera page on my website.
Finally, a little sneak preview of my nest live nest camera to live stream. I have been working (remotely!) with Denis Stretton at Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex. He has managed to mount a Birdsy cam on a pole, overlooking a kestrel nest. I am very excited about this camera! Meet Cathy and Lemmie!
As soon as laying starts and we have a stable connection, then it will appear on my website!
I am looking forward to this year's nesting season and to be able to share it with you!