Saturday 31 March 2012

Birdbox Update for the week

At the moment at least, not that many people seem to be reading the bird box blog posts, perhaps because thus far they've been more on the technical side of setting up the cameras and infrared illumination. So here are a few more pictures...

My first birdbox with camera remains unoccupied, having been visited by a great tit and then a spider. The camera caught another bird have a look from outside, just sticking their beak in, and later a wasp.
Someone sticking their beak inWasp in my bird box

The second birdbox also remains empty, even after relocation further away from the fumes heating vent, but still on the side of the house. Light leakage continues to trigger false positives using the monitoring software Motion, but it did record a bumble bee.

However, the third birdbox which is down the garden appears to have been adopted by blue tits. Using my telescope to film the birdbox entrance hole, they're been making regular visits delivering moss - which is now visible using the in-box infrared camera (although not yet high enough to be quite in focus - hopefully I set it about right for a nest). I've been making periodic trips down the garden with my laptop to use the webcam:
Monday 26 March 2012 (pm)Tuesday 27 March 2012 (pm)Saturday 31 March 2012 (am)

Now the drama starts: The telescope camera has caught Greater Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) sticking their noses in - probably hoping for some baby Blue Tits to eat?
Thursday 29 March 2012 (Male)Friday 30 March 2012 (Female)

Woodpeckers could easily enlarge the entrance hole, and this one is already a generous 32mm, so I decided to buy 25mm entrance metal plate to protect the Blue Tits. You can buy these online (e.g. eBay) for a few pounds, but it seemed risky to wait, so we dropped by a local garden centre later on Saturday.

It was only when putting together this blog post I realised the Thursday woodpecker was male (from the bright red patch on the back of the head) while the Friday woodpecker was female (she lacked this - much clearer in another shot not shown). If they are a pair,  they could be looking for a nesting site - I rather hope so because I made an impulse purchase at the Garden Centre: On the top of a shelf gathering dust was an unusually large birdbox, which was in fact intended as a woodpecker nest box.

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