Christmas decorations on my bird snack bar and a novel Mammal Feeding Station set up have become an annual challenge and the wildlife has performed admirably this year so far!
The Bird snack bar had its decorations up late last week and the birds were not put off by the arrival of the Christmas Tree, the baubles and stockings. They were not aware of the precarious set up that allows me to access this camera mounted 12ft up on an external wall outside my office! I can only do this if my son hangs his weight off the opposite side of the ladder, whilst I climb up, to stop it falling back into the hedge as the gap underneath is so narrow and the ladder so steep! To give you an idea of scale, I uploaded this recording from the camera, of me glueing everything in place! My phone is there, so I can see the image the camera is seeing, via an iCatcher app.
Visits have been coming thick and fast and the food tray soon empties!
Earlier last week, I posted the images of the new mammal box set up and I was not sure how long it would be before the mammals went inside this new set up with brighter lights and a different camera set-up. I was amazed to see visitors after just 12 hrs. Since then, at least 2 wood mice and a vole have been visiting… mainly after dark, but sometimes during the day.
When I create a set like this, I have in my mind the image I want to achieve and a mouse sitting on the sleigh was what I was hoping for. Of course, with it filled with delicious treats, that is exactly what they did! Very comical to watch and a bit of fun!
Midlands Today showed the footage on Friday night on their evening show and thank you to NatureTTL for running a piece on their blog as well. You can see it HERE
I was also interviewed by a news agency and they might appear in the papers on Christmas eve…. fingers crossed. One question I am often asked is ‘WHY?’. Firstly, it is great fun, obviously!! It also gives me the chance to engage with the general public and especially young people. I use footage like this at my talks and when I work with kids. I can introduce characters such as the wood mouse and the bank vole and teach people about how they are different. Many children ( and adults) do not know what a vole is. I can also possibly attract an audience that may not usually watch wildlife footage or live streams. These set-ups are always well received and the mammals have no idea what they are coming into. Their environment is always changing and their primary goal at this time of the year is to find food…. and there’s a tasty selection in these boxes!
Enjoy the festive views as they will only be online for a short time! They cn be seen via my website and on the CJ Wildlife website as well.