Updated: May 1
I may be spending more time at home, but I feel I am busier than ever! This is always a busy time of the year for me, as I invariably have a lot of cameras on breeding birds and in exciting places. The more cameras I set up, the more footage I have to look through!
I have 11 cameras, now live streaming on my website, but there are the same number behind the scenes and this means lots of hours spent looking through what has happened in the day, and lifting clips of interesting footage or behaviour. I do become somewhat obsessed with it and I really spend all my time with my wildlife; either in the flesh, or looking at it on camera footage! My evenings are spent at my desk and the first thing I do in the morning, is to check some of the key cameras to see what is going on.
The mammal box is producing some cracking footage at the moment and is one of my busiest cameras. I don't think I have ever had as many visitors to this set-up in its history! There are mammals in it just about all day and night!
Look out for the wood mouse....
The other common visitor is the Bank vole
You will see two species just about all day and all night. There is quite a lot of variation in colouration and size seen in both species. Some of the wood mice and quite golden in colour and some of the young ones, much more grey-brown. The ears and tail are the biggest give-away! The ears of the wood mouse stand up, way above the head and the tail is longer than the body. The vole's ears are much close to the head and the tail is much shorter.
A new species in the last week or so, is the Common Shrew...
This little mammal is now visiting regularly and is a great visitor as many only ever see a shrew dead in the garden. Their gland exude a bitter taste, meaning if they are caught by predators, they are often discarded. As their name suggests, these shrews are very common, but their habit of spending time in deep undergrowth means that many never see them and they are notoriously difficult to film , I am getting lots of footage and, if you log onto my mammal box, you should see them.
My blue tit female is is still incubating and her eggs are due to hatch any day now. The male has been popping in to feed her a little more frequently and I really hope we see some new baby blue tits very soon!
Jack and Dawreen, my jackdaws, are still incubating and we have another week or so with their eggs! They are fabulous to watch on the cameras as they are very vocal and animated. The audio is really good on this camera and you should be able to hear a variety of bird calls as well.
I have had a camera on another little nest I discovered as well! I saw a Wren in and out of the top of a trellis section . I captured some lovely clips of it bringing leaves, magnolia petals and other bits and pieces. The male builds several nests and then the female comes and checks them all out and chooses one. It has been quiet the last day, so I think he's finished it. It hope the female chooses this little construction.... the space is crammed tight with materials
The waterhole I made with a trye from my last blog post, has proved to be very popular and I am getting lots of species visiting, The blackbirds, in particular, are loving it and bathing regularly!
The feeding stations have been busy , with lots of green finches and a lovely bullfinch pair too1
I have also been filming a number of foxes in the field next to my garden. I do not live stream this year cameras as they are there for such a short period of time. I have a couple of vixens, one of whom is feeding cubs somewhere. I really hope she brings them to the camera soon.
I also watch and lift footage from a number of other cameras, which you can see on my website. One of my favourites are the cameras at Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex. Friend, Denis Stretton, has been setting up and maintaining these. and the water vole cam has been getting some fabulous shots of this wonderful little mammal!
We have also been experimenting with a camera on a perch near to a kestrel nest box and have some superb footage... here's a taster!
Lots going on... I'm just limited with how many hours I can spend looking through it all! I hope you are enjoying and, if the weather warms up again, check out the Solitary Bee cam. It's been quiet the last few days as its been much colder, but a bit of warm sunshine and they'll be buzzing again!