Another busy week has passed, where my feet hardly seem to touch the ground! Lots of exciting things are happening, meaning that, although I tweet regularly to keep you up to date, my blog posts are suffering somewhat. I try to do a weekly update to give a little more detail for those who have missed some of my tweets.
Nest Box News:
My jackdaw is still sitting tight on her eggs and I am hoping the first of these will start hatching around the 20th May. Tonight when she nipped out, there appeared to only be three eggs, although I thought this earlier in the week and one was hidden under the small amount of nesting materials in the box. She does continue to bring more nesting materials in, but the eggs are actually sitting on the wooden base of the box.
The blue tit in my patio box is still incubating and the male nips in (very quickly) bringing her small caterpillars. Her eggs are due to hatch in the next week, so keep an eye out on my cameras as this is the nest box with the internal illumination and I am hoping for some really good images and clips from this family. The female has gradually sunk further into the nest and can hardly be seen now! It is going to be a while before we get a really good view of those chicks… although as the male and female pop in and out, the nest sides will be flattened somewhat.
The great tit in the patio box has brought a few more bits of soft nesting material into the nest box during the day, but no sign of laying yet. She returns each night and roosts in there.
The great tit eggs in my side box hatched on Sunday.I have had a few problems with the camera in this box. The light in there is a little strange and now there is something on the lens. You can still watch this little family though and I think I can see four tiny mouths gaping. This camera will be on my live stream for a while now and I will capture some footage over the next few weeks.
There has been lots of other exciting news this week. ‘Midlands Today’ contacted me and David Gregory and his team will be filming here in the WildlifeKate patch in the week beginning the 14th May. The footage they capture will feature in their Springwatch special that will be aired at the beginning of June, alongside the main show. I was also delighted to receive a phone call from Gardener’s World. They asked if they could send one of their guys, Phil, round to talk to me and have a look at my patch. Phil and I had a great chat and I gave him a tour and explained what I do here. He filmed our conversations to take back to the Birmingham Head Office. Originally, they had not realised that I had a stand at GWL in June and were excited at the prospect of possibly filming here for the Gardener’s World TV programme that will air at the same time as the show. They may then follow it up with some filming from my stand in June. That would be fantastic! Watch this space and I will let you know what is happening on that front very soon.
If you have been follow my website you will have seen that the June edition of BBC Wildlife Magazine should have reached the subscribers this week, with it on sale in the shops on May 8th. Some months ago, I was asked if I would write an article explaining, in a simple way, how different kinds of cameras can be used to capture wildlife in the garden. I was pleased to do so and the magazine arrived on my doorstep on Saturday! It was quite strange seeing my picture on the inside cover under ‘this month’s contributors’ and then on the four page article. I wonder what the readership of this magazine is and how many people might be inspired to have a go in their own patch! You can read more about this on my website HERE
There is also one of my images on the Bushnell advert and the Ark Wildlife ad!
I was also really pleased to have a stunning male bullfinch start visiting my office feeder late this week. I managed to get a photo and then did a little video clip on my Panasonic camera….
Finally, this morning I was up early and spied a fox out in the field. I quickly picked up my camera and got a couple of shots before she disappeared. I went and collected the Bushnell and was delighted to have captured her coming through. This is not Fern, but I believe it to be Tess… one of her cubs from 2010. From the look of things, she has cubs somewhere too…
I had also collected the Bushnell from this spot earlier in the week, where I had captured some more daytime footage…..
There are lots of developments on the Gardener’s World Live front too and I am somewhat behind on my blog posts there… will catch up again this week… I think you can probably see why I am struggling somewhat to keep up with everything ( and I still teach as well!!) All very exciting though and I am very much looking forward to the coming months.