Thursday, 17 May 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

Mr Thrift Bee has always had a passion for nature. As a nipper he was a collector of bird eggs (not something he approves of  today). A young ornithologist. If we watch a nature programme he has named the bird species before its announced and i have not known him to be wrong yet. Springwatch and Autumnwatch are must sees, and David Attenborough is up there as a major hero along with a rake of obscure punk singers. So for his birthday earlier this year i  bought him a bird box camera. The plan was to have our own little up a tree in our chicken run.

Bird box complete with windows. 

Tree in background, chicken run in middle, shed on the right

Note the ladder made so our 5yr old can climb up to 'help' Dad in the shed.

My Dad kindly donated an enormus old television when he heard we were looking to salvage one from somewhere. Mr. Thrift Bee built a new bird box that included little opaque windows on the sides (made from pieces of milk carton plastic) to let light inside the box. Then he connected it all up so it was viewable from  inside his shed. 

Nothing happened for some time, then we switched on one day and there was what looked like the beginning of a nest in the bottom of the box. Something was certainly considering the box as a potential new dwelling. Then one evening, Mr. Thrift Bee called us out to see a tiny bird tucking in for the night.

There she is. She has made her bed and is lying in it. We went away for a week, shortly after we were home we switched the TV in the shed on to see if there was any progress. Indeed there was, there were three little eggs and Mummy Great Tit was flying in and out of the nest, so we figured she had  probably only just laid them.

Yesterday a friend was doing the school run and stopped in for a cup of tea, my little one mentioned the eggs in the nest and we all went up to the shed to show off our technological genius, and of course the eggs.
MGT was sitting on them. We're not sure when the eggs were laid, so we're not sure when to expect them to hatch. Five of us stood there watching, won't it be great to see the chicks when they come. Next minute MGT shifts around and flies out of the box. Lo and behold! two little blobs and an egg.

Then one of the blobs looks straight up at the camera and opens its mouth. 

We see Mum fly past the shed, and she reappears on the TV as she feeds the wide open mouths.

Pure majic! And to have friends witness the discovery at the same time was just great.


  1. What a brilliant gift, what a brilliant experience!

  2. Hello :) Thanks for your comment on my blog about my crochet blanket - I've started another one now - a stash busting one.

    I already follow the blog you mentioned and it is lovely :)

    BTW you've gained a new follower - I need to hear more about your bird-cam - what a wonderful idea - I'd love one.

  3. Hello! How nice to meet you, any fan of India is a friend of mine.
    I'm in awe of your bird cam, I want one! x

  4. These are such a great idea, we currently have bluetits nesting in our bathroom extractor fan again (there's a grill inside and a hole in the wall outside) and we can hear the noisy little buggers but not see what's going on!


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