Stow Maries Aerodrome is a pretty amazing place for wildlife. For the last few years I have been working, alongside Denis Stretton, to install a range of cameras on site to showcase some of the species. Much of the infrastructure was installed thanks to a grant obtained by the Trust and this allowed us to live stream some of these boxes. Other cameras have been installed by my friend, Denis Stretton.
Denis works on site and we talk , almost on a daily basis, about what is going on and discussing new camera angles and sharing the load of monitoring all the cameras and uploading the footage to share. I am lucky enough to visit the site whenever I can, particularly if we have a new project in mind, and we have built boxes, installed cameras and also built the waterhole on site, where we have filmed some amazing clips from there and the other boxes.
Last week, Denis told me he had seen a Little owl coming out of a box in an oak tree near his workshop. We have filmed the little owls looking in most of our other boxes.
We saw them so much at one point that I gave him a little owl nest box I had and he put it up in the area, with a Birdsy cam inside. Sadly, they are yet to check it out. Seeing them several times around the oak tree box, yesterday Denis installed a Birdsy cam that I had sent down to him. It is running on a little router with a PaYG sim card.
We couldn't believe it! Last night, we capture the most lovely clips of a little owl sitting in the box.
The box consists of a rectangular 'tunnel' and at the back, right-hand side, there is a hole, which drops down into a square box. They seem to like sitting in this entrance tunnel. In this clip, with the scene lit by the IR, you can see one owl drop into the box below.
Once dark, this lovely clip captured a pair and their conversations about this box!
The morning sun rose and the light was absolutely beautiful. The little owls were back, but this time they had company. The jackdaws also seem most keen on this box and there were several hours of the jackdaws harassing the little owl. It held its own when inside the tunnel, sometimes coming out to scare them off. other times, both were on the platform.
Eventually, the owl left, at which point the jackdaws seemed happy to take over, even starting to take stick inside....
The stock doves also arrived to check it out!
Denis and I discussed it this afternoon. To increase the chances of the little owls nesting, he is going to remove the sticks they have taken in and install a wall at the back of the tunnel, with a small entrance at the left hand side. This will effectively create a corridor for the owls to go down to then drop into the box. This will deter the jackdaws as it will be difficult to manoeuvre stick around the corner and through a corridor to get into the box.
The camera is now live streaming on my website. We will see what happens over the coming months. we would SO love to be able to film these comical little owls... they really are special little characters!
You can watch this camera HERE on my website.