Search This Blog

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Trail Camera and Feeders

Recently I purchased a Trail camera so that I could see what other wildlife is in the forest, as there seems to be a lot of activity and some tracks in there. This I wanted to do as I want to photograph different wildlife on the farm other than the birds. I bought the camera from the website Flyonthewall check out the link. The camera is well made and has good resolution.

Today's findings

I went back to farm today to check the trail camera and to fill the feeders. Nothing has been to the camera location so have decided to move it to near the location where the 3 holes are.

Filled the feeders, also put two more feeders there. Rather than put fat balls there I have invested in a feeder, so that I can remove the nylon sacking around them as it is not very environmentally friendly.

I spent an hour sitting in the field in front of the location of the feed station. This I wanted to do to see how the natural light was hitting the branches where the birds were coming on to.

After doing this I have decided that I want to put a prop nearer the front of the station so that the birds have something to land on before they go to the feeders.

Equipment needed to do this:

2 x stakes

suitable branch for a perch

hammer and nails

Also need to get some more sunflower seeds as this seems to be the food which is bringing in the birds. I will mix this in with the other food to increase how many birds come to the feeders.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Setting up of the feeders and why I put them where I did

The setting up of the feeders was paramount to this project. I wanted to do this, as it is bird photography that I really enjoy doing. I set them up to see what birds were in different locations and also what they wanted to feed on.

Revisited the farm today to check on the feeders I put in location the findings were as follows:

Feeders in the forest basin.

Feeders in the forest had been attacked and eaten by a squirrel, the base of the peanut feeder has been ripped of and eaten away. I have made the decision to not use this location for this reason. Also on the second visit the light was not that good, and I don’t think that I can get a clean background which is a key element that I want to use in my images. (reference Danny Green from previous project)

Since this has happened I have decided to look for a better location for this set of feeders. I have chosen to put them at the top of the farm as when I visited there last there seemed to be a lot of bird activity.

Feeders at the top of the forest near the slurry pit.

After four days the feeders were empty, this shows that there is a lot of birds feeding in this location. I refilled the feeders and straight away birds were coming in.

I have decided to invest in a cam net so that I can put it in place, so that the birds can get used to something alien in their environment. This will also check whether they get spooked by its presence.

Other activities on the farm.

Whilst searching the farm for other possible photographic subjects, I discovered three holes in the ground in a location known as badger hill. I am not sure what it living there so I have decided to invest in a trail camera so that I can see what is there. I also have other potential locations for this camera (see map) as I know that there are foxes in the location. Need to research trail camera and look at how best to use them. (research uses of them – Simon King and autumnwatch and springwatch)

Need to look at Andy Rouse's current project on birds that he is doing in Wales. (need to talk about them and critique them during major project).

I crept up the feeders from the field and the birds were already there feeding. What I was looking for was potential sites for the hide that I want to establish in the next couple of days. Have decided to give the location a bit of a trim as it is looking a bit cluttered.

Equipment needed for this:


Small saw

Need to get a cam net, need to visit West Wales to buy this

Now need to establish a routine for filling the feeders. This I will do for the next week to help bring the birds in and so that they expect the feed.

Need to concentrate now on my dissertation as this is now a priority. I will go to fill the feeders to have a break from this.

Found an article today in Outdoor photographer about establishing a feed station. It suggested that you use metal feeders to conquer the problem of pesky squirrels

Friday, 5 February 2010

Major Project The Farm and inital findings

Today's Antics.

Farm Wildlife Day 1

Today I decided to start the farm project, this I wanted to do as before when I have been on the farm. I decided that I would establish some feed stations on the farm to see what birds come to them. The location of the farm I will not divulge on here, however it is near a RSPB reserve so there should be a lot of wildlife in the area.

I decided that I would establish them in the wood next to the barns. I decided to do some scouting about around the rest of the farm, whilst doing this I found a tree that had been pecked by a Woodpecker. Excellent I thought, it was ideal for establishing a feeding station and a hide, the problem was that there are someone else's horses in there so I had to abandon that one. This will keep for the future.

I went into the ash tree plantation and found a few ideal places to establish a hide. The main concern for me was light. At the end the plantation was a clearing which was ideal. I decided to establish my first feeding station here. There were plenty of very photogenic perches there and there were many that I could put into place as well.

Further in to the wood I started to see some tracks. I think from a fox as the grass was not disturbed. Following these tracks led me to a bank which I climbed and found another tree that had been pecked by a Woodpecker. As there was a clearing there I decided to establish the second feeding station here.

After establishing them I decided to look around the farm to see what other wildlife was about that day.

I found a small roost of about 100 starlings that were flying oblivious to my presence.

I saw two Red Kites

On the edge of the boundary next to the forestry plantation, I discovered the following wildlife:

Long tailed tits

Goldcrest or a firecrest

Tree creeper

I saw a potential site on the edge of the reeds to place a hide to get shots of birds of prey with some feeding done.

And this is only day one.

I will leave the feeding stations for about 4 days and then go to check them, if they are not touched I will think about moving them up to the top of the farm.

Point to note:

After watching Simon King's programme on BBC2 about wildlife in Scotland, he said when establishing a hide two of you should go there and then one leave. He said the birds will be none the wiser as long as you are quiet.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Major Project: Bird Migration - Slimbridge January 2010

It's been a while now since I last posted work on my blog, however have been rather busy my Major Project for my degree. I thought it was about time that I updated you all so that you can see what I have been up to.

As January and February are really good months in the United Kingdom for Bird Migration I decided to concentrate on this during these months. I spent most of the time in Slimbridge WWT in Gloucestershire. In the week this place was quite deserted and most times that I was visiting there were no more that half a dozen people about. This suited me as it enabled me to look around the hides and find where the best places were to be to photograph the migration.

My Findings.

To see the incoming Bewick Swans use the hides that overlook that Rushy as this is where they come to feed during the night. This place is great for flight shots. (see the map below. No 9)

To see the Starlings coming in to roost (and I tell you January is the month for them as they are at their peak of around 60,000 birds), make sure that you are either in the Hides that overlook the Rushy or go the the lakes at position 12 on the map and wait for them to come round. I recommend that you have a wide angle lens with you and that it is either a 2.8 or better.

Images to follow...