Business as usual on the trailcam

19 Nov 2020 to 01 Dec 2020

A new spot for the trailcam. I decided to see how much it would see on the bird feeders. It took a few attempts as it’s quite hard to find a decent mount point, that’s stable and doesn’t blow around in the wind. It’s been an interesting diversion but on the whole not as interesting as I thought. Focus is problematic as the camera often wants to focus on the distance as the birds are two small. Squirrels seem ok!

Another complication was noticeable if the camera was tilted up a little. I think condensation or water is more likely to cover the lens when it’s angled upwards and this messes up the picture quality.

That aside, not a lot of surprises. Nice if you like squirrels. Grey ones. The occasional magpie, woodpecker and sometimes a nice flurry of tree sparrows. But on the whole no drama.

A week on the trailcam

12 to 21 Aug 2020

This new spot for the trailcam is proving to be quite interesting. Despite being just a few metres from the house and close to the feeders it’s just out of view, and it’s surprising how much wanders by that I normally miss.

Quite a lot of scraggily looking birds. I’m not sure if they’re in moult, or juvinile birds, or both. There’s also quite a lot of the greater spotted woodpecker drinking, both adult and juvenile. I think it’s the same juvenile each time. It has quite a distinctive red dot on the right-hand-side of the nape of its neck, but it’s not always easy to see, and I suspect there may be more than one juvenile around.

Hedgehogs and mice appear in the dead of night.

The water is a huge hit. Birds that I don’t often associate with drinking from the ground level seem quite content to spend a bit of time there. Chaffinches, robins, blue tits, lots of long-tailed tits, and I’m pretty sure there’s a treecreeper that makes a brief appearance. The water depth may be a little too uncertain for them but a few of the bigger birds certainly have a dip. The greater-spotted woodpecker having a good bath at 13:10 is, I’m fairly certain, not the same juvenile that appears earlier.

There’s often a bit of background action too on the feeders, mostly Jackdaws and woodpeckers.

Bring out your dead

For a few days I had a motion-sensitive webcam on the blue tit nestbox. It was a neat set-up but the usual problems of false-postives were too much of a headache to solve. Apart from dappled sunlight shadows being sensed as motion the tree itself would sway gently in the wind, as can be seen in the video clip below.

While fast-forwarding through chunks of nothing-happeningness I stumbled across this rather grim segment. I’m assuming that it’s a parent bird clearing out a dead chick. One of its own. It did occur to me it might be predation by another adult blue-tit but I’m not sure if Blue Tits do that.

Here’s a still taken at the time the adult takes out the dead chick. That was Saturday (three days ago). I’ve not noticed much, if any activity since then so perhaps it’s a failed nest.

Blue Tit nestbox

Leaving Home

Perhaps, perhaps not. After a bit of fun with some parcel tape and a stick I was hopeful that the motion detection software might only detect motion, and not leaves, wind, sunlight or clouds. No such luck. 10,050 images this evening to browse through. That’s a lot of thumbnails. In amongst them though, some interesting … Continue reading “Leaving Home”

Perhaps, perhaps not. After a bit of fun with some parcel tape and a stick I was hopeful that the motion detection software might only detect motion, and not leaves, wind, sunlight or clouds. No such luck. 10,050 images this evening to browse through. That’s a lot of thumbnails. In amongst them though, some interesting behaviour …

I think what we’re seeing there is an adult feeding a very eager youngster who can’t wait to leave home. It was a hot sunny day today and this thin-walled birdbox faces due-south on a sunny wall. (There are plenty of other bird boxes to chose from but the blue tits chose this one, year after year. They don’t know that they’re not meant to.)

And every year on hot days like this I fret a little. Far more than the chicks I suspect.

I’m slightly intrigued by that last picture (above). Is it courtship feeding? Or one adult passing food to another to pass into the nestbox?

Then, (after discarding another few thousand thumbnails), it looks like the bold fledgling decides to see the world outside its window.