Our Yew View tawny seems to have settled well into incubation in the box, snoozing most of the day, not worried by the sounds of barking dogs and lawn mowers! As the light begins to fade, she starts to stretch and preen, getting ready to stretch her wings and have a comfort break. Most nights, by half six, she is looking out of the box and it is not long before she leaves. She is not gone long though… half an hour at the most. Sometimes she sits outside the box for a while or does a spot of hunting from the branch outside the box.
As the week progressed, the male started regularly bringing her food, once twice or three times a day. I looked through all of the footage and made a not of all the prey items. It is really interesting to try to keep a track of this prey. In 5 days, the male brought in 12 wood mice, 1 bird (as yet unidentified!) and a very large frog!
Next year, I will need to add some more lighting to the right hand side of the box as the lighting is to the left to illuminate the back corner, where I thought she would sit. Until your target species goes in, it is very difficult to predict how the set-up will actually work in reality. It will take a couple of seasons to get just right.
This footage is a selection of food items.
If the male bring in more food than she really needs, then she will create a larder. This wood mouse was not really wanted, so she left it to one side, but kept moving it around. She consumed it some hours after if was brought in.
The most impressive meal was this large frog bought in. Dropping it into the box, it was soon covered in bark chipping, but the female struggled it down, with the two back legs sticking out of her beak like bizarre antlers at one point!
There was also this bird brought in… possibly a dunnock? It is difficult to see as it is in shadow…
This clip shows her preening and stretching as it gets darker and she prepares to leave the box for a short while….
I lifted some screenshots from this week’s footage as well… it is very difficult to decide what to choose…
There has also been a fair amount of action in the badger sett. Two individuals have been sleeping here for 1 – 3 hr stints in the night before returning to the other artificial sett in the day. I have upgraded the microphones in this sett this week. Originally, I mounted the mic on the body of the camera. The camera has a small fan inside and this is what has produced the buzz on the feed. I have now mounted the mice down a tube next to the camera. I put these tubes in, in case I wanted to put any sensors etc down there. Next week, we’ll see what a difference it makes. Here are a few clips from this week’s residents… just with they’d stop slobbering all over the camera!!!
Monitoring the outside of the other artificial sett (that has no internal cameras) there has been quite a lot of activity. Mutual grooming is important for family bonding and they are often seen doing this. The badgers are also enjoying some of the old logs I put out near the sett, ripping them apart with their strong claws…
We had our first almost daylight view, when this one peeped out just as the light was fading!
Despite a large log on top, one individual still managed to get into my mammal box! We now have two heavy rocks on top!
As each week passes, I envisage those tiny babies forming inside the tawny eggs. I so hope everything continues to progress as we move close to potential tawny chicks in just a few weeks!