Just before I headed up to Scotland, Dave and I wanted to get the Yew View new tawny box up. The tawnies have a period where they don’t spend much time at the nest box, as their owlets have left and the adults must ‘enjoy’ the freedom before they start looking for next year’s nest space. We usually have them starting to look in the box in October, with them visiting regularly by the end of the year.
We have improved the site considerably… mainly to make it safer for me to work at. The box is very high and Dave built me a platform to stand on. I was worried this might upset them, so we have staggered the project… introducing new items gradually and filming their reaction. I must admit, I have been amazed at how little they seem to have been affected by the platform addition. I filmed them landing on the new space within a week. This made me feel more confident about changing the actual box.
You can read more about the building of the box on my blog post HERE. I designed this new box to overcome some of the issues we have had with the owlets being able to see out and to get out too early. This meant the new box was deeper and had a bigger platform outside.
I designed the box so it was very similar to the last one and it was to be mounted in exactly the same place. Using the new platform, we took down the old box. It was pretty rank inside…. fetid remains of prey and it really smelt bad.
The new box was big and it was heavy but, with the platform in place, it was much easier as we were able to winch it up and then rest it on the platform before fixing it in place….
This box has three cameras. It has one on the outside and two inside. One camera is working on the outside (not quite in position yet) and one inside (also need adjusting!), with the third yet to be wired up. I planned on sorting the camera angles on my return.
I then left the box and went away for two weeks! On returning to the site this week, I couldn’t wait to see if the owls had visited at all. I must admit, I didn’t think they would have started coming inside yet, but half a dead rat inside told me someone had been in! I was thrilled, on checking back on the footage, to see that the owls are visiting AND they are coming regularly into the box!
I can see I need to make some adjustments to both the interior and the exterior camera, as well as getting the third cam installed. I still have plenty of time as they will not be visiting or staying in the box until early in the new year, so I will be working on them in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, here is the footage captured this week… lots of exciting potential I think!