Stow Maries Wildlife Cam
I am very excited to bring you some wonderful live cameras in the grounds of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, in Essex.
Working with Denis Stretton and Hikvision and Birdsy cameras, we have experimented with a range of set-ups to try to bring some unique live cameras online. In Spring 2021, we filmed a kestrel pair raise their family in a nest box here. There are also barn owls, tawny owls and little owls breeding on site.
Up until recently, we had the camera on a waterhole we built. We have plans to bring you the new kestrel box camera and a barn owl box , later in the year and have two Hikvision cams mounted on a new nest box. We are awaiting news on a funding bid, to see if we can wire these two Hik cams up for live streaming. Until then, we have a Birdsy cam also facing the nest box, so we can live stream it for you to watch.
The grounds at Stow Maries provide perfect, unspoiled habitat for all manner of wildlife, due to the fact that it lay dormant for 100 years after WW1, allowing the wildlife to flourish. I have visited & photographed the amazing wildlife there on a number of occasions. The vast majority of the site is open grassland with woodland and although it has no statutory designation, it is home to many species of fauna and flora including all five species of British owls, a rarity in one location, as well as the 22 red listed birds, which have been sighted. Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome works in partnership with Natural England to improve and manage our ecology. As participants in their Entry and Higher level Stewardship schemes, the site work to carefully manage the site to get the very best habitats for the wildlife there.
New Kestrel Box 2021
Denis built this new kestrel box, after the success of last year's box. This time, we have mounted a Hikvision mini dome on both the outside and the inside. There are also lights on the inside that operate on a sensor, turning them off at night when the cams switch to IR. The live stream is using a Birdsy cam at present.
We are awaiting funding to link the high res Hik cams up to iCatcher console and to create a stable live stream on site. At present, the Birdsy cam runs on solar panels and a router using a mobile sim. The clips shown here are lifted from the Hik cameras. We have not had the privilege to watch the courtship of the kestrels before so it's a new learning experience for Denis and I.
This waterhole was built out of a donated plastic container and natural materials from the site. It is on a ridge in between the kestrel next box and the barn owl nesting site. Denis and I built it in just a few hours and within a few days, the kestrel started bathing in there! You can read more about how we created it HERE on my blog post.