Hi Natalie, I am planning to do a write up of my setup in the technical forum at some point - when I get a bit of time! But yes, lights are the key. This is my first year with lights after having seen Paul and other peoples results. It really makes all the difference in the world. I have a custom set up of small LEDs and the camera setup is based around a Raspberry Pi computer. There are some off-the-shelf lighting solutions that you can just install and plug in - I am sure Paul can help out here (there are some other posts around with details as well, I think).
Natalie, I did post the link to the led light I have in all my boxes in my thread to you, I don't know if you seen it. But more info about it is here - birdboxdiaries.boards.net/thread/49/led-lighting-bird-boxes This is my first year with all my boxes with led lights in, Lastnight year I only managed to have it in one box (didn't find out about the lights until mid april) That box did get nest building in but the nest wasn't completed, However I got a taste of how it would look with led lights in so during this winter I put them in every box. So like matt it kind of is my first year of having the lights and they do make sure a massive difference.
Matt's set up will be alot different to mine, Mine is pretty standard led uses power of camera just plug it in sorted. Matt uses Raspberry Pi cameras so his set up is alot different, But as stated he is planning on listing everything from his set up soon on the tech part. Shows members how to have led lights with both sets up normal camera / Raspberry Pi.
If you aren't happy with your camera colour, I would really recommend lighting.
Is it as quiet for everyone else as it is for me? Not a peep now for almost a week, since this weather came. Yesterday was sunny but still a bit blowy - it seems the wind puts them off as much as the rain around here, and when you both, forget it! Hopefully they're off fattening up somewhere.
Matt, I think its same for everyone, Apart from Kathy of course who's blue tit as started building. I haven't seen 1 visit to my boxes over the last week, However I don't switch the cameras on until 11am which is late morning and have no recorders or nothing so could be getting views that am not seeing that is possible. However I still normally see abit of activity in the afternoon even if its just visit outside the boxes but nothing, Can't blame them though its gone from 18c / 20c to 8c / 9c wind and rain. Its a massive difference in just a week, Even my little sparrows have stopped building, No new material in days now. So don't worry its same for us all.
Yeah - not really worried Paul just missing the visits and getting the new footage to look at, especially since this weather came just after I had installed microphones in two of the boxes, so I was quite hoping to get some sound recorded (e.g. the male calling in the female). I did get a couple of short videos with the mics, but nothing too interesting - just some rustling and tapping on the box, no calling. At least it does show that they are working!
Hi Matt you not had any visits in 3 weeks? No lovely pictures or videos to share?
Nothing at all since the wind started Natalie. There's been a few nicer days in amongst the bad weather and its nice again now, but no sign of the birds at the boxes or in the garden at all. Not sure what has happened, but if nothing visits in this coming week of nice weather I might start losing hope for a nest this year..
Thanks Karen, really hope I can put up a post like that soon! Not sure what's happened to be honest, was getting daily visits to at least two of the boxes and I thought it was just the bad weather that put them off for a while, but it has been quite a long time now.. I think it is this week or bust!
Matt don't lose hope, one year mine didn't nest until end of April so a way to go before hope is lost I think. Don't forget they have to time it right with the caterpillars and they can make a nest in 3 days if they need to so
Gee Matt, didn’t realise it had been that long without a visit. Your birds really like keeping you waiting don’t they! It was the same for you last year though I believe wasn’t it? So wouldn’t be worried yet, bloody peeing it down again in Liverpool this is the last day of rain apparently sick to death it at moment Going to be cloudy everyday after 13/14c il take that over rain anyday I hear down south is in for some good sunny weather though.
Well not *too* worried yet, Paul, but they never disappeared for this long last year - they were still at least visiting the outside of the box every few days or so, but when she decided to start she went from a nest wriggle to building the nest in about 10 minutes! (8th April). It does seem like a very sudden stop given the amount of visits before, but I put it down to the change in weather. We will see - we don't have a lot of bluetits around here at the best of times (I was a little surprised by last years success, tbh), so if it was just one pair all the time who have now chosen somewhere else, then that could also be an explanation.. (hope not, of course!). I think I will start to worry if they don't put an appearance in over the next few days - nice, sunny and windless at the moment.
Like you Matt my visits had dropped to just about nothing. Very few blue tits around other than at nesting times and then only the odd pair. However, material arriving this morning for my box shows they are still watching and waiting. Stay positive and i’m Sure it will happen.. I hope so anyway Sue
Three quick visits this morning, one to each of all three boxes in the space of about 5 minutes, so assuming the same bird again to each, which hopefully means that the final decision has not been made yet (phew!). No sign of the female, but hopefully it means we are still in the running.
A couple of pics of visits to two of the boxes - the other visit was just to the outside of the house box, which hadn't had a visit of any sort since 21st Feb (nearly four weeks!):