When you check out my live cams next, you will see that mousecam looks somewhat different! I wanted to create a view that looked more ‘natural’ and one which would create an environment that the mice, voles and shrews would feel safe and comfortable in. My previous mousecam was in an upturned wicker basket in the hedge. This had worked well as the wicker allows a small amount of light in, which is good in the day, as the camera operates in colour. I had another, larger basket that I used for the new mousecam. I collected a range of materials to use to line the inside of the basket to create the look I wanted….
I used a coir basket liner, as this is easy to split and attach and creates a good natural background. I also had a selection of bits of bark, grasses and ferns and a small terracotta bowl that I wanted to have in the centre, to contain the food.
Using a board base, I placed the bowl in the position I wanted it for the cam and then used the basket liner to ‘carpet’ the board….
Using all the other materials, I gradually worked along the back and the sides of the basket to line the walls with a variety of materials… I kept peeping through the holes at the end to check the view that the cam would give…
I also used a slection of twigs, bark, leaves etc to build up the ‘carpet’ area of the new mousecam box….
Once, I was happy with the effects, I positioned the basket back up in the hedge, ensuring that it overlapped the exit holes to the network of tunnels that run under this area of the hedge. I fixed the cam in place and checked the image I was getting on the PC. It only took about 15 minutes for the first vole to brave the new environment!
As I watched the cam tonight, I was suprised to see a wood mouse attempt to cover up the food… taking bark and materials from the floor and then place them on top of the food…. the voles soon got rid of that when they returned to feed. I am also planning on building some nesting chambers, so that next season I could maybe watch one of these individuals raise a family!