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Harvest Mouse Trio, Raptor Platform and Wired for Sound!

This week, it was a rather ‘techy’ day on site at Yew View, as Huw from ICatcher spent a day with me, checking, upgrading and generally fiddling with all the camera, software and technical side of the set-up. One of the things I wanted to do, that I have not tried before, is to add microphones to some of the posh IP cameras we have on site. The average nest box cam comes with a built-in microphone, but the ones we are using are designed for CCTV and generally not set up for audio. In order to be able to hear as well as see the wildlife, I will need to make up some little external microphones and then set the camera up to record this. This may sound easy, but the camera settings within some of these  complicated cameras are mind-blowing and it is very easy to get totally confused… unless you have someone to walk it through with you!

Huw and I set up microphones on both the Kingfisher post and the Badger Feeding station and got the audios on the Badger sett working so we can hear them snuffling around in there! The audio makes a tremendous difference to the clips that I capture and it was lovely to hear all the birds calling in our first Kingfisher Post video with audio!

I am looking forward to listening to the badgers in the sett. They are visiting every night, mostly just to have a sniff around and to put their muddy noses on the cameras! I am so pleased I made these cameras easily removed, as I have to clean them every week!

I am delighted to say our Harvest Mice family are still visiting! On looking back at this week’s footage it was so lovely to see two and three individuals feeding together. I have cropped this footage in a little tighter and merged some clips together… you just can’t help but smile at these little mice… they are so big on the cute-factor… especially when they peep up from the back of the platform….

Vivotek Harvest Mice on 2016-03-08 09-35-41.244

Vivotek Harvest Mice on 2016-03-15 17-58-07.421

I will be aiming to get a microphone on this platform too… it would be good to hear if there are any vocalisations between these individuals.

It is not just the Harvest mice that are visiting… it has been lovely to see the Reed Bunting (amongst others!) visiting. They really love the millet!

Vivotek Harvest Mice on 2016-03-15 12-50-18.780

This platform is pretty small…… now to something at the complete opposite end of the scale! Dave Harper has been helping me with another crazy idea I had.. to create a feeding platform that could be big enough to put road kill on and attract some of our local raptors. We put in the post several months ago, but the floods have meant we have been unable to get the platform up. This week, we managed to heave it up… and it is pretty impressive!

I will be screwing a perch on and then we aim to attach some road kill and then monitor the platform with our PTZ river camera.

Whilst down by the river, I checked out the silt on the fishing platforms. As the river drops, it leaves a prefect medium for prints and I am always on the look out for otter prints…. but I did not find otter. The badgers had obviously been in this area, leaving some perfect prints!


The daylight was fading by the time we finished the platform…. next week I will finish it and see if we can attract some buzzards in!


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