Green Woodpeckers, Swallows, Pied Wagtails and a new otter cam!

With the sun shining and YewView looking amazing,  my main aim this week was to get the otter cam installed. I always like to do a morning walk around the site. Only working there once a week, on average, so much can change in a week and I like to see what’s going on. The wildflower meadow that we planted earlier in the Spring is looking amazing and was full of bees, hoverflies and other insects.  We are thrilled with how quickly this has established and the impact it has had.


IMG_7729

IMG_7774
IMG_7773
IMG_7772
IMG_7771

The site is very much planted for pollinators and looks amazing at this time of the year. Packed with all sorts of flowers, the site is literally buzzing with activity!


IMG_7750
IMG_7749

IMG_7730
IMG_7738
IMG_7739

IMG_7731

There is something very special about snacking straight from the tree or bush whilst working on site and I certainly won’t be short of these this Summer and Autumn.

I set to work straight away on the otter cam floating platform. Having finished the actual platform last week, I needed to install it in situ. As I want the platform to only float in emergencies  (allowing us to rescue the camera) it needs to be stable for the rest of the time. I placed 4 posts in the ground so the platform could rest on top of these…


IMG_7740
IMG_7741

The camera was then set on top and adjusted to face the holt, as before.

IMG_7743
IMG_7744

Checking the positioning of the camera on my iCatcherWild app, I was really pleased to be able to monitor this day holt again.


IMG_7742

There is lots of wildlife news from the site this week.  As I have so much footage, I am going to separate the blog posts a little this week to make it easier to follow progress.

Since building the badger sett last November, we have had sporadic visits from our resident badgers, who tend the sniff around in the chambers, but never stay for very long. This week is the first week that we have had a hint that they may, eventually , use the sett! Check out my separate blog post about this, that follows this blog.


Hay in Sett 1 14th July 3_00000

The changes in the swallow chicks this week is incredible! The adults are visiting very few minutes, with beaks crammed with insects, meaning the fledglings are growing fast. These images show the daily changes this week. Videos can be seen on our YouTube Swallow playlist.


Swallows 15th July_00000


Swallows 16th July_00000

Swallows 17th July_00000

Swallows 18th July_00000

Swallows 19th July_00000

Swallows 20th July_00000

Swallows 21stJuly_00000

Last week….


… and this week…


I have a feeling they will fledge before I get back to Yew View next week, so they will be gracing the skies by then, building up skill and strength, ready for their long journey to Africa in just a month of so.

I was delighted, this week, to manage to get a camera on a new nest; a Pied Wagtail. Last year, a Pied wagtail pair nested in one of the swallow cups upstairs in the barn. I have been watching out for them again and, when I saw parents entering with food, I got the ladder out! In the far corner, I found four chicks that look to be about a week and half old. Quickly mounting a camera between feeds, it will be good to watch this little family!


Pied wagtail chicks 21st July 2_00002
Pied wagtail chicks 21st July 1_00000
Pied wagtail chicks 21st July 1_00001
Pied wagtail chicks 21st July 1_00002
Pied wagtail chicks 21st July 2_00000


The Kingfisher post is always a camera I love to check the footage from! Every week, we capture lovely clips from this camera. The kingfishers are hunting well and I captured a clip of one catching a dragonfly nymph; a favourite delicacy…


Kingfisher with dragonfly nymph_00004
Kingfisher with dragonfly nymph_00003