Well, it has been a busy few weeks! With this lovely weather, things have really kicked off in the garden. There has been lots of interest in all my cameras, from all sorts of directions and I am hoping to share them a little wider in the coming month. I now have eight cameras live streaming and it takes me a lot of time, not only to maintain them and keep them all looking good, but also to look through and upload daily footage from each.
My favourite at the moment, is my blackbird nest! The chicks are growing SO fast and I know we probably only have another week before these guys fledge into the garden so every moment is a joy! The last couple of days have seen amazing growth and now their eyes are open and their feathers coming in really fast.
They are now stretching their wings and looking out of the nest cup. It is so incredible how quickly they change once their feather start emerging!
The parents have been very busy feeding and I have been trying to see if I can get the male to feed out of my hand. He is much bolder than the female and has been getting closer and closer with the lure of mealworms! I have not had my 'real' camera out for a while, but this was too good an opportunity to miss. I managed to get some lovely shots of him, with his beak full!
The blue tit nest is almost finished now. `most of the nest is built from moss and a little dried grass. They then start bringing in softer materials to line it. My blue tit is bringing in fluff, fur and feathers. She is also now roosting in the box; a sure sign she will lay soon.
The garden is looking lovely now. With all the good weather and me able to spend a little more time than I would normally, out there, it has literally transformed from a brown muddy mess, into foliage explosion!
I feel blessed every day, to have this space to spend my time. I constantly think what it must be like for those who are in these restricted times with little or no outside space. It must be incredibly tough and, for me, this contact with nature is an essential part of my being. My garden has always been a very special part of me and I am especially appreciative of it right now.
One camera that I am not live streaming, is my fox cam. This is in the field next to my garden. I have three, sometimes four, foxes visiting, The vixens have cubs somewhere and I am hoping they are going to bring them to this space eventually. Not only have I got some lovely clips of the foxes, but got one clip of a badger a few weeks back , which is very unusual. Then last night, I had my first hedgehog!
This set-up uses a Hikvision bullet camera. The clarity is amazing and I can zoom in from my PC. I am thrilled with this camera as it produces such clear images. I just need to purchase a mic for it as this would be a great addition to this footage. These are CCTV cameras, so often do not have a built in microphone. You need to buy an external one and plug it into the camera.
My mammal box is also working well, with regular wood mouse and bank vole visitors, which seem to be in good numbers this year. This box has lights inside and I 'dress' the internal set to create a mini scene in which the mammals feed.
Considering I don't have my normal jobs, I seem to be busier than ever. As you can imagine, I have had a lot of interest in the work I do as it is particularly relevant right now. I am having lots of discussions and emails bouncing back & forth, with various different companies and programmes, so I hope they will be used in the future and reach a wider audience. To set up, maintain and then check and upload all the footage can be a full time job and I spend just about all my waking hours linked with these cameras in some way! Lucky I love doing it! I just have to try to ensure it makes me a small income... or at least enough to pay for the bird food and live stream costs!
The reaction and feedback I have had from so many followers has been heartwarming. When people say that, to be able to watch my live cameras has made a massive difference to their lives in lock-down, makes it all worthwhile!