It’s been a pretty busy week for the wildlife here. The technological highlight is that Sand’s Swann Outback camera is starting to perform. She placed it on what looked like a well used animal track and to tempt whatever wildlife did come along, she placed a stale loaf of bread about 8ft from the camera. We were rewarded with something bigger than a Rook and at night.
This little fella looks rather suspicious of the camera, then deciding it poses no threat, heads off into the bushes with a tasty morsel. We are surrounded with both Dairy and Beef cattle here and with the reasonable assumption based on what little research has been done on the spread of TB in cattle, Badgers is not something we wish to encourage around here.
The camera’s ability to sense IR movement seems a little limited as so far we haven’t been able to get to go off with anything smaller than a Rook. The occasional rabbit at greater distances from the sensor at about 3 metres have been recorded, but I think they have to be within the sensors range for quite a time before it sets it off. This might explain why small birds at the feeder haven’t been recorded at all as they never seem to hang around for more than a few seconds. I thinks it’s still early days and we need to play around with placement a little more.
We finally found a place for the two bird feeders where they are close enough to see what visits them from the conservatory, yet far enough away, so our daily movements don’t disturb them.
So far, we have attracted a pair of feisty Robins, Great Tits, Common House Sparrows and we think Greenfinches. A pheasant has taken to jumping up on the wall and hitting the bottom of the feeder and eating what drops out of it. We’ve had to cage both feeders otherwise the Crows and rooks will empty then both in less than a day.
At some stage this Summer I want to construct a bird feeding station with a variety of foods available to attract a larger number of species.
The other major project started this weekend, was the clearing of a field of about 1.3 acres. Unused for years, a few of the walls have either collapsed or were robbed out for the stone. Finding out where all the stone has gone to has been difficult as the field has been left to overgrow for many years and made it impenetrable without a machete.
I was a little sceptical as to is ability to even scratch the mass of Brambles, Gorse, Fern and clumped mats of Grass, but fitted with the 3 blade knife cutter it chomped through a 6 foot wide swath of about 70 metres long in half and hour or so.
While we want to clear this field and either put it back to use providing silage or grazing, for the moment we’ll clear around the boundary to establish the condition of walls first.
Now I can hear some of you asking why clear it at all. Left untouched this field provides a natural haven for all sorts of wildlife and fauna. However, we are surrounded by 100’s of acres of over overgrown moorland and there are still a couple of one acre fields we have that will be left to natures own tender care.