Thursday, 31 January 2019


At -4C with freezing fog everything ended up covered in frost this morning.






All taken with an iPhone 6s

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Fleeting Visit

Yesterday one Great Tit made a fleeting visit to the nestbox.
A snapshot from the 30 second video:


The way it was looking at the entrance I think it was hoping its partner would join it.

I'm waiting patiently for the female to perform a 'nestbox shuffle'  It always looks as though she is testing the overall size of the box and making sure the walls are strong enough. It appears to be a final test to see whether the nestbox is suitable for her.

This is one I captured about four years ago:

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Great Tits Inspect Nestbox

I haven't seen the Blue Tit visit the nestbox since mid December.
Yesterday a pair of Great Tits gave it the once over.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Failure and Success

These 3d printed bits and bobs

fit together to make
DSCN9292     DSCN9290

a partly universal fitting to add a phone (camera) to the microscope.

It was to replace the one which came with the microscope

Whilst being very adaptable as far a suiting a vast range of cameras I was never happy with the idea of suction cups as a method of holding it in place. I did once have my iPod slide off.

Unfortunately the replacement design I had downloaded and printed out was
a) fragile - I snapped one bit trying to fit it together.
b) it didn't suit the iPhone 6s with its corner positioned camera.
    probably fine with phones with a camera nearer half way across their body.

I had a look round on the Thingiverse site and found another design which looked a better bet.
Here are the parts once printed out

I had already fitted together the three parts which make up the bit at the top of the photo.
On the V shaped section there is a ball and socket joint in which the end of the screw fits. This is three sections around the ball. One of those snapped as it was too close a fit but everything still holds in place.

All the parts assembled
DSCN9300    DSCN9297

Fitted to the microscope

With camera firmly held in place

Fortunately my phone has an added cover over the back and sides which protects the volume and power buttons or the clamp would press and activate them. I think I will add some of the old style adhesive foam strip we used to use for sealing gaps in wooden window frames years ago. That should cushion any possible pressure on the phone's buttons.

A photo of the hazel catkin with this set up

I did have problems with keeping the items stuck on the printer bed to start with. I think it was the overall low temperature in the unheated conservatory. Things were cooling down too fast. Increased the bed temperature from the usual 60C to 63C and the extruding temperature from the usual 200C to 205C and all worked perfectly.

A short video of the printer at work

I toned down the sound. The printer has four cooling fans and four stepper motors which can be noisyish at times.

My grateful thanks to user 'falconphysics' for publishing the design on Thingiverse.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Busy Creating

Just a quick photo of what I have been up to these past few days:


These parts have been made with a 3D printer.
I didn't design these but downloaded the files and converted them so I could use them.
A bit of final hand finishing tomorrow and I should be able to assemble them.
To make what?  If it works as intended then I will post about it in the near future.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Catkin Time

The catkins on my corkscrew hazel bush are forming well.

Composite from three close shots:

Corkscrew Hazel Catkins

Composite of four photos taken through the microscope:
Top two are of the outer surface.

Corkscrew Hazel Catkin micro

Bottom two are of the inside of the catkin.
All taken with the iPhone 6s
Composite pictures created using the Mac app Photo Tangler.

Heard but not seen this morning was the song of our local Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

LTT Visit

On a murky day a short while ago I spotted a small group of Long Tailed Tits busy around the trees and feeders. As ever they didn't stay still in one place for very long so out of a dozen shots these were the least grotty:



Thursday, 3 January 2019

New Year's Day Visitor

Just been checking for any recordings from the nestbox camera.

By the markings on its head it looks like a Blue Tit to me.
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