On Thursday, I ran a training session on Bushnell trails cam usage for the Staffs Wildlife Trust, Barn Owl Action Group. They have bought two Bushnells and we are going to use them to monitor some barn owl sites and boxes. None of the group have ever used them before, so I ran a session to give them all the basics and a few hints and tips I have learnt a long the way to get them up and running with them. Teaching a small group of adults makes a change from 30 primary aged children… they were all very quiet, civilised and well-behaved!
I started by showing them the main parts of the Bushnell and explaining how each part worked. I showed them some of my footage, so they could see what is possible. We then popped the batteries in and went through the menu set ups to set one on video and one of photos. As I wanted them to se the whole process, we then set them up on a little bird table and on a peanut feeder just outside the room we were working in. WIthin 5 minutes, the birds were back on them and we were able to capture a couple of shots and a bit of video, so I could demonstrate how easy they are to use.
I suggested that all the team members have a play with them in their own gardens, so they build up some experience in using them before we start looking at some sites to use them monitoring owl presence. I am going to create a YouTube channel for them to upload their footage so they can share it. I really enjoyed helping them out and they are very keen to see how this piece of kit can help them.
From this meeting, we went straight onto another…. this time with Tim Mackrill… the Rutland Osprey Project Manager…. what a job! The reason we were all there was to get some advice from Tim as a number of ospreys have been visiting a reservoir pretty close to me… Blithfield Reservoir. We are hoping that, if a nesting platform was put up in the future, then Blithfield might be able to attract a pair of breeding ospreys! obviously, I am VERY excited at this prospects, as we all were. Tim gave an absolutely brilliant presentation and I learnt SO much! He actually gave me the PP presentation and I will pass on some of that amazing info when I get a chance to extract it.
We then all drove out to Blithfield… on a very cold and dismal day and had a look at the lie of the land.
Tim felt that there was immense potential and that it could possibly support up to 5 breeding pairs! We looked all around the area at possible sites. Now comes possibly the more difficult part… getting land owners on board and South Staffs Water who own the reservoir. Wouldn’t it be amazing though??!! Ospreys only half an hour away… …