Denis and I have been watching and discussing the little owl setup every day. We have been working on this project as a joint venture, but I am in Lichfield and Stow Maries is in Essex. This means that, although Denis and I can discuss the cameras and set-ups, it is him who is on the ground and does most of the installs, the maintenance and the day to day running of the whole system. I try to get down as much as I can but I am completely reliant on him when it comes to much of the hard work on the ground.
We have been so pleased and excited about the interest the little owls have shown in this box and their behaviour is indicating strongly that they may breed here. They will lay around mid April, so any camera work needs to be done in the next week or so, when they are not around in the day. Once they get closer to laying, they will spend more time at the box and we will lose the window for installs.
We decided that it would be amazing to have a camera on the outside of the box as well as inside. We were pretty sure that, when one owl was in the box, the other one would be on the outside. We were also sure that they were spending more time around the box than we were seeing from the internal camera. So, Denis bought another camera and today he installed it.
The quickest and easiest install was to place the dome camera, on its base , on the platform outside the owl box. We were not sure if that would give us the view we needed. Denis decided to give it a go. We would see how it looked and then make a decision. The box is mounted on a post, not far from the building where the barn owls nest. He installed all the cabling and then I was able to connect to the camera and chat to him as it was installed and we looked at the view and the angle achieved.
The angle looked really good as we would be owl eye level. We decided to give it a go and see what we got.
Our reservations were that the lens will quickly get wet and dirty and we will be unable to get up to clean it. The only other option will be for Denis to build an arm coming from the post, on which to place the dome on its normal orientation, giving a similar view to the photo above. This will also give us the chance to move the camera around, which will be good if / when we have owlets. For now, we decided to leave it there for the night and review any footage we got.
I was sitting at my desk when the male arrived. The view was just fabulous!
The male spent a little time outside before the female also turned up and entered the box. He stayed outside for a while before joining her. They both then spent about an hour around the box.
I have lifted a few clips, remotely from home. I think the camera angle is just amazing, but fear that the camera mounted like this will not be a viable option.
Here, the male looks out.... Just look at those eyes!!!
He then pops out onto the platform... it's quite a squeeze!
Here the female pops in....
The male on the outside of the box and the female popping back out!
Here is the female on the platform. They actually look quite different when you get the chance to see them like this!
Denis and I will discuss where to go from here and then make some adjustments. I'm sure you will agree, that it looks fab. We just need to get it recording the audio too... easy to forget to tick that final box on the console to make sure it records audio as well as video!
I am absolutely thrilled with these... thank you Denis for all your hard work today to get this set up.