Friday, 22 May 2009

Hoggy Cam Revisited and Others

As usual I keep trying different things with Hoggy Cam. A couple of days ago I changed the camera to one which is colour in daylight and black and white at night. The camera is quite old and, like me, sometimes temperamental. I wanted colour in daylight as many birds go on the paved area under the bird feeders and I can watch them from indoors this way. Night lighting consists of three solar powered LED spotlights which have just three LEDs in each but at close quarters give quite a reasonable light. Also I put an infra red light above the paved area to give more light which the camera could see but would not affect the Hedgehogs.

IMG_3412LED Spotlight

Last night just one Hedgehog showed up while I was watching.

This morning there was a Magpie gathering any spilled seed from under the feeders.

Disappointing that the colour view from the camera is not as sharp as the b/w view. This afternoon it was replaced with a new camera which looks better in daylight - just got to wait and see what the night vision is like.

This is the first time I have seen the Robin use a seed feeder. It normally flies in and out of the bird table all day.

Robin on seed feeder

Yesterday was the first time I had seen the Coal Tits for about a month. As they are back visiting the feeders I assume they have raised a family and the young have now flown the nest. Also the Blue Tits are back as regular visitors. They do look quite scruffy now. The hazard of bringing up a family? Here a Blue Tit is eating a Sunflower heart.

Blue Tit

Finally - the juvenile Blackbird seems to be thriving and continues to spend part of each day in the garden feeding on the seeds the other birds drop.

Juvenile Blackbird


  1. That Magpie is making a good job of clearing up John. I've got a couple that do that. Saves me the job.
    Good to see the Young Blackbird making good progress too.

  2. Ah, John , don’t you just love seeing the skirt on the hedgehog as it moves around? I do :-)

    Mm… yes I have to agree with you on the daytime images on the night cameras. I tend not to use mine during the day opting for a basic vid cam instead… if it isn’t raining :-)

    Wonderful shot of the robin at the feeder… it looks so relaxed! I do see them at my feeders quite often but they can sometimes be a bit frantic trying to hold on to the bars.

    As we haven’t had blue tits nesting in our garden this year we have been lucky enough to see the blue/great/coal tits visit quite often. I am noticing the great tits the most at the moment. Perhaps you’ve had bird nesting closer than you think :-o

    Great shot of the blue tit… but fav has to be the blackbird juv… I have a soft spot for them :-D

    Have a great weekend :-D

  3. Hi Keith. Magpies, Collared Doves and Wood Pigeons - all clear up for me. It's been fun watching the young Blackbird each day. It really didn't know whether it was coming or going the first day but has matured rapidly.

  4. Yes Shirl, the sudden change from spines to flesh is fascinating on the Hedgehogs. They can move surprisingly fast on those little legs.

    The new camera is doing a good job so far. At least with a security camera in a waterproof housing can be left out - anything for an easy life!

    That Robin kept having to flutter off the perch and try again. I think it found it safer to sit down on the job.

    Maybe the Blue Tits were the ones which started a nest in the box and then changed their minds for somewhere else local. I did wonder whether the one in the photo was a juvenile.

    To me the juvenile Blackbird is more attractive than the adults.

    Enjoy the long weekend.

  5. Great to see the hedgehog in a new light! I really enjoyed watching it meandering hither and yon. I bet you were pleased to see the night result of the 'new' old camera. Your still photos of the various birds are beautifully detailed and clear. The English robins are sweet, and good capture to get it on the bird feeder. A much daintier eater than the blackbird! Thanks for letting me know more about the blackbird (previous post) and the fact that you've seen one re-stock its beak!

  6. Great videos yet again John. The Hoggiecam really is sharp now so your efforts have been rewarded.

    The Blue Tit looks like a parent to me, with its rather raggedy feathers; this is not unusual in a breeding bird. Lovely that the juv. Blackbird still has its home near you.

    Like you, I've seen a Coal Tit back in the garden after several weeks' absence. It flew in, grabbed some food and flew off again so I think also that it may have a family somewhere. I'd certainly like to think so.

  7. Hi Glo. Thank you for your kind comments.

    Yesterday I received a new 'new' camera and installed it. The night detail is even better now. Also the daytime pictures are clearer so I think I can stop fiddling with it now.

    Some birds, especially the smaller ones like the robins and Greenfinches, seem to strike such charming poses I never tire of photographing them.

  8. Lovely shot of the little Blackbird John. By the time you've finished with the hedgehog setup, you'll have a bigger operation going than Springwatch!

  9. Hi Tricia. Thank you. I think Hoggy Cam is even sharper now.

    The juvenile Blackbird is still around but I am pleased that it does also get about the area.

    Also the Great Tits have been visiting occasionally - all we need now is for the Long Tailed Tits to reappear.

  10. Hi Paul. Thank you. I must admit I was pleased with the photo of the young Blackbird on top of the bird table.

    Watching Springwatch and their superb Badger watching set up made me determined to see the night time wildlife in my own garden. This is the first year I have actually seen anything.

  11. No garden vac needed with a Magpie in your garden then John! What lovely photos again, I loved the Robin, I have never seen one on my hanging feeders, only on the tables, but looking at your feeder I suspect mine are just too small for the birds who don't naturally feed in that way. I have always used very small feeders with tiny perches to deter the larger birds but I'm thinking now it might be worth hanging a larger one in a different area which might encourage the Robin and perhaps even the Dunnock. I'm glad to see your Blackbird is thriving and that is a lovely capture of it.

  12. Hi Jan. Thank you for the kind comments. I was very surprised to see the Robin on the feeder. It was having problems with the smooth metal perch. Even that size perch allows Starlings to feed from it though with a lot of flapping and cursing! It's a question of compromise as always. It would certainly be nice to see a Dunnock on it.

  13. Wonderful photos of your garden birds :)

    Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get the videos to work ...a red and blue dot kept swirling in the centre...but nothing happened thereafter.

    Clever of you to rig up your cameras like that :)

  14. Hi Wildlife Gardener. Thanks for visiting and the kind comment.

    Sorry the video was playing up. They are stored on Flickr and their site seems to be running very slowly at the moment which may have been your problem.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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