No time to get bored here – after 7yrs of gardenwatching a new chapter is beginning! The new wildlife pond awaits plants and its first visitors but unfortunately it is out of the sight line of my main gardenwatching window. A solution came in the shape of an exciting 2013 Christmas present from OH 😀
Let me introduce you to Mr Bushnell HD! Phew… no holes needed to be bored through house walls to accommodate this latest camera that will give a new insight into all corners of the garden. I’m going to have fun with this trail camera.
Now we will see who travels under the hedge – apart from hedgehogs of course. Who creeps about the rotting log in my Gunnera border and will anyone visit the small wildlife hotel tucked in the pond border wall?
My new assistant will have all the answers to these and many other garden questions. He will gardenwatch when I am sleeping, indoors doing the ironing, away visiting other gardens or working in my own with my back turned! To keep him going, I have fed him with 12x AA batteries and in return he captures video and photos to an SD card with I remove to read on my PC.
At present my camera has been set to record video for up to a minute when triggered. I haven’t tried photos yet and I have just discovered that I’ll need some tech help from OH to make my videos talk to my video editing software. As a result the images below aren’t true screen grabs but they illustrate discoveries so far…
Neighbour’s cats sit on my arbour seat watching the garden at night too!
Neighbour’s cats are drinking from my wildlife pond.
Reflections of eyes in the water will help me spot frogs and toads:-)
Neighbour’s cats pass through the garden at dawn and dusk. The IR images get bright before changes to/from colour but hedgehogs will still be spotted 🙂
Fruit scattered by pond to attract passing Fieldfares failed.
Blackbirds enjoyed the fruit and were seen drinking and bathing in pond 🙂
The Christmas left-over fruit experiment was interesting – no interest in mango. Blackbirds ran away with fruit so some pegs were required! Pears were more popular than the usual apple offerings. Grapes went down well and surprisingly so did melon. Nice to see partial albino Blackbirds back – often see them in winter.
The Bullfinch experiment failed – perhaps success with snow another time. Saw Bullfinches feeding on heather seeds on BBC Winterwatch so bought plants with seeds on stems to see if they’d come – not seen on my or Mr Bushnell’s watch 😉
The Bullfinch experiment highlighted lots of activity on the branches of the Rhododendron. Hard to see, but a male Blackcap is in the centre above.
A closer location for Mr Bushnell might reveal more 🙂
The wildlife pond reveal begins, the fence is in place to prevent hedgehogs from wandering in. Woodpigeons wander all around the garden and drink at pond.
Neighbour’s cat illustrates the hedgehog walk by. The bottom fence cane gap is 5cm and should be a good safety barrier as will marginal plants in pots.
Neighbour’s cats will become assistants to Mr Bushnell. Their ears will catch movement noise and Mr Bushnell can be moved to see what’s going on.
Neighbour’s cats might hear frog or toad activity in the pond
when Mr Bushnell can’t see it. I hope the cats don’t ‘play’ in the pond when
Mr Bushnell is on gardenwatch duty in another part of the garden!
What fun gardenwatching is going to be in 2014 – nope, definitely no boredom expected! First, I need to get more familiar with the settings in my trail camera (Bushnell model no.119477). I’d like to remove the text along the bottom and try the photo settings to see the quality there. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what routes hedgehogs use in my garden – I have my suspicions but time and Mr Bushnell will tell if I’m right 🙂
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in February 2014.