Updated: Feb 4
I was keen to get a Birdsy camera set-up here at Aigas Field Centre. There is an enthusiastic team of rangers who will be able to keep the platform loaded with food and to check the footage. The kit is perfect for a centre like this as it will monitor the feeding station, make recordings of all that visits and then these videos can be used to educate and inform the public about the wildlife that visits.
As I am up in Aigas for just a short time, I sent the team some sketches of the sort of thing I wanted to build. When I arrived, I was thrilled to see that all the timber had been cut and was ready to build. Hugh, the estate maintenance officer had it all sorted and Greg and Ben were also on hand to help. All the materials were from the Aigas site, which is wonderful.
The first thing to do was to get the camera up and running and to check that it was all working on the Internet connection here at Aigas. That involves first plugging the camera directly into the router and setting it up. Once it has connected with your Internet connection, it can be unplugged and moved into its position.
As we were putting the feeding station quite close to a router extension , we opted to hard wire it in, along with the power, in some ducting underground to ensure a good, constant connection.
The team had chosen the location, on the edge of some pine forest. It is a lovely location, close to Magnus House (where the education centre is and the rangers office) . We started by sinking the upright poles into the ground to make the legs on which the platform would rest.
Once all four post were in, Hugh cut the tops off, to create a level base…
Using a range of branches, we then made some uprights to create perches and a position to hang the feeders..
We had special help from Rollo..
Hugh had also made a most wonderful squirrel feeder, all out of materials on site. It is absolutely beautiful and way lovelier than a commercially produced one!
It was looking fantastic! A few more bits to add, including a Pine Marten bar. This bar has holes drilled in the back Food is packed inside and we hope the marten will reach up to get the food, clearly displaying its bib pattern to the camera, so it can be ID’ed. A pine marten’s bib pattern is unique and can be used to ID it and monitor the number of individuals there are in an area.
We then put a post in on which to mount the camera. With a few adjustments, through the Birdsy app, the camera was up and running and the image looked great.
All that was left to do was to bury the cables which we ran through a piece of piping.
It was all up and running! Everyone was really pleased, especially, me! It looks just wonderful.
We are now waiting for our first visitors. This platform is in an area new to feeding, so it may take a week or so before the wildlife realises it is there. We can’t wait for our first bird… or even a red squirrel or a pine marten!
A big thank you to Hugh and all the team who helped create this at Aigas!