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.

A week on the trailcam

6 to 12 Aug 2020

I moved the trailcam. This turned out to be a good move. I moved it near a water trough and at around ground level. This spot isn’t visible from the house, or the garden for that matter. Quite secluded. It has proved to be a popular drinking spot.

There are lots of moulting magpies. Or perhaps just one moulting magpie. One moulting magpie looks pretty like another to me. It’s also possible that it’s a juvenile. There are a few sequences of a blackbird feeding its youngsters, (4:00 and 7:05), with what appears to be some peanuts that I’d scattered on the ground. Although they look pretty scrunched up I think I’ll keep the peanuts in cages until the birds are a bit bigger. A few long-tailed tits show up from time to time. I love the whirring their wings make when they fly off.

Some interesting blackcap behaviour at 4:33, where a female, possibly juvenile, blackcap approaches a female chaffinch. I don’t know what’s going on there. Perhaps it’s a juvenile looking for food. It also illustrates a conundrum I occasionally have with the Garden BirdWatch scheme. If I observe a bird on the trailcam, but not from my usual watching positions, do I add it to my records?

The juvenile greater spotted woodpecker is a regular visitor, at 8:56, then 9:58 visible on the fat-block feeder in the background, then at the water trough at 15:23, 18:03, 18:28 and 18:58. There’s a nice catch of a male bullfinch in the sunlight at 14:33.

I’ve moved the camera again. When the birds are perched on the nearside of the trough they’re just a little out of focus so I’m guessing it’s just a shade too close to the camera. And the trough needs filled. Poor birds are having to bend down a long way to get to the water. The other thing I may try and adjust is the timer. The default recording period is 10seconds, but in theory this should extend if activity is being detected, but in practice this doesn’t always happen. This can be a little frustrating if there’s activity on the camera and the recording suddenly ends.