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Squirrel Studio goes live!

This nest box has caused me a considerable amount of stress!!! Last weekend, I spent an hour, un-threading a 50 m cable from a very prickly hedgerow so I could use it to wire up a camera in the new box. The box was using a cam I have had for a while, which seemed to work absolutely fine in my office where I tested it all and perfected the image. Getting this large (and heavy!) nest box up into my chosen tree was difficult as the tree is on a steep bank with a 20 foot drop and also the box is very wide, so very difficult to screw into the trunk. Luckily I had help… the ever patient Martin struggled on and between us, we finally got everything up and wired back to the house… after a whole day! You can imagine my despair when I plugged the whole lot in….. and all I got was a white screen! I couldn’t understand it! It had all worked fine and I knew the cabling had been OK as I had been watching a possible fox den using it. The image was as if the IR was on overtime….. blasting out all of the image. If I unplugged it from the splitter I use and plugged it directly into my PC, the image improved, but it was very ‘wavy’ and grainy, suggesting some cabling issues.

It had been a long day and I had to admit defeat.

Lots of great people tried to help solve my issues via Twitter and I also contacted Mike at HandyKam whose wildlife cam I was using in this set up… it is ideal as it is in a sealed unit, nothing for squirrels to nibble. He very kindly offered to send me a new camera out. A big thanks to HandyKam for their support! I also ordered a new 50m cable, as I had some connections in the previous one and I wanted to make sure that I had the best set-up I could achieve.

I was not able to have another go until Friday, when we spent the day running the new cable ut and installing the new camera. It was such a relief when I plugged it all n and YIPPEEE…. a clear image, working brilliantly! Phew! A couple of hours tidying up cables and getting a secure, covering on the exposed cable at the box end (to prevent squirrel nibbling!) and everything was in place.

Again, I placed some snacks inside and returned to my PC to watch. It was not long before a squirrel was in there, checking out the stash of food. I was delighted and quickly attached my Mac to the stream so I could record the footage…. a snippet of it is here on YouTube…

The squirrel kept coming out and he was obviously on the terrace, so I rushed outside with my camera and crept along the field until I could see the box. The light was fading, but I managed to get a couple of shots….

As I watched through the lens, my heart missed a beat… coming down a branch from above, I saw this!!!!!….

… surely not…..

Sadly, this female, went past my box and up into the next tree, which is overgrown by ivy. I told her there was a much nicer, newer home right on her doorstep, but we’ll have to wait and see now….. if not this season, then may be next… or may be something else will decide to take up residence! 


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