Friday, 2 April 2010

Friday at the Flicks (Jackdaws, Hedgehog)

Earlier in the week when I was photographing a group of Jackdaws on the lawn I also set up the camcorder. To start with there was a single Rook amongst them which was having a hard time keeping the Jackdaws away from the seed it was trying to gather in its throat pouch. In the end it gave up and moved to a different part of the garden.

Once the Jackdaws had the area to themselves they set about the tricky task of stripping the husks from the grain. At first I thought they were burying the seed but closer examination showed they were jamming each seed under their claws and stripping the husk off with their beaks. Not an easy task on a soft grassy surface.

Just before my bedtime last night one of the Hedgehog visitors arrived. As there are three LED lights shining down on the feeding area to give illumination for the video camera I thought I would see how well the camcorder would cope. On the normal settings it could just make out what was there so I switched it over to its night setting. Now the picture was much brighter but to achieve this the shutter speed is very slow and few frames are taken each second. The result is a very jerky video. To overcome this I speeded the motion up 2.5 times when the video was being put together in the computer.

It may look as though the Hedgehog is just sniffing at the food. In fact it was eating at its usual fast and furious rate which was too fast for the night setting on the camcorder but rest assured it was tucking in to dried mealworms as though that was the only food it had eaten this year.

Have a great holiday weekend observing the wildlife around you.


  1. Thanks John, Fridays wouldn't be the same without your post. Reminded me of a Macaw I used to know, he peeled grapes.

  2. Those Jackdaws certainly earn their food lol

    Great videos John.

  3. Hi again John, your garden has been a very busy place this week. Great to see the hogs more regularly about :-D

    Gosh, I don’t know if I’d be happy or not to see so many corvids in my garden. I’m thinking that my neighbours wouldn’t be so keen as now it’s nice enough to get washing out :-) However, you’ve great close-ups of the Jackdaw peeling the seeds. I love to see this sort of stuff. Great to see a colour image of the hogs. We’ve seen our first visits now too :-D

    Ah… I see you are one of many bloggers experimenting with their templates just now. It’s looking good. It’s easy to forget how the previous ones look once you start experimenting. Hope all went well with the change as I’ve heard people say they can lose some of their previous stuff in the change over. Spring cleaning is good though too :-D

    Wishing you good weather with you so you can get out and about with Bobby :-D

  4. Hello Shirl. Fortunately for the neighbours the corvids are very early visitors and vanish as soon as they notice any movement in the kitchen.

    Great you have started to get hogs visiting as well. The camera monitoring the Hedgehog house triggers not long before the hog visits the feeder and sometimes soon after it leaves but so far I haven't actually seen any signs of occupation.

    Everything seems to have gone smoothly changing the blog layout. Initially I liked my first choice which could adjust its width automatically to suit different resolutions. In the end I didn't like the text being spread so far across the screen. I find it easier to read this width of column.

    Hope it is warmer there than it is here the wind is far from Spring like.

  5. Very clear videos, John ~ fascinating watching the Jackdaws strip the husk from the grain. The colour video of the hedghog worked well with your editing techniques. I think all of our birds got blown away in this wild wind we're having! More wind warnings for tonight.

  6. Thank you Glo. A bit of rare bright sunlight helps a lot to get clear video. I love being able to zoom right in to the action and see just how different birds go about feeding.
    I am thinking about having a bit more light on the Hedgehog feeder as it is nice to see the hogs in their true colours.

    Hope you wind eases soon. Poor birds end up travelling backwards when they can't flap fast enough.

  7. These are all nice. I enjoyed them.

  8. Hello Abraham. Pleased you found the enjoyable.


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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