Thursday, 10 April 2008

Hedgehogs first for camera

There is definitely a lot to watch out for in the garden at the moment between the plants, birds and wildlife. What a great time of year this is!

Our blue tit female is still busy with her nest and I will post her progress in a couple of days as at the moment it is very much a work in progress! If and when this nest is complete, based on last year, there will initially be weekly updates then they will become more frequent all the way through to daily – fingers crossed. However, last night I was thrilled to be watching the hedgehogs visit again which you can see above in the first video footage from my new night/day camera.


Hungry Hedgehog, video 0:47 with background music, try 480p quality.


There is definitely more than one hedgehog visiting my garden now - but could there be two or three? Now, this is where this camera will come into its own. I can use it see a larger area and perhaps we may see more than one hedgehog visit at a time. That could be interesting to see how they behave together.

What a thrill this is to see hedgehogs especially when last year at this time I didn’t even know they were visiting! It just goes to show what visitors can come to our gardens during the night too. Last nights first visits were early at around nine o’clock but I expect that was because it was a cold night and they were hungry. We had hail stones again yesterday.

On a more serious note, my first thoughts are to feed the smaller hedgehogs and I was delighted to see a smaller one take food last night. At the moment I am putting out little trails of crushed peanuts and sultanas to lead them to the dishes where there is water too which I took from my water butt.

I initially thought I would use this camera for the blackbird Nestbox which I may do yet. But as this was an inexpensive camera, deliberately chosen as an experiment, the quality of picture colour isn’t as good as I would have liked. I chose to have audio instead of a better quality picture but it isn’t that good either.

However, on the positive side we were still able to watch activity in the garden at night which really is a fantastic opportunity. I wonder what other wildlife we will see? Perhaps a fox? I have seen one walking up our street in the past but it has always turned around and walked out again. I wonder if it explores the back gardens. I will continue to experiment with this camera and instead of fixing it to an area I have chosen to have it fixed to an old tripod we had in our attic. This will now be my roving camera which will be much more fun – BBC Wildlife Teams watch out!! I will also be able to set it up facing my hedgehog house to see if anything goes in or out it. Who knows, it may be chosen as a suitable place for a nesting female hedgehog – now that would be something!

The video footage from this camera is taken using infrared LED’s. I took ages positioning the tripod as any closer the lights give up too much white light and you were unable to see the detail of the hedgehog. I intend using this camera more to find the wildlife in the garden at night then on dry nights I will put out my video camera and get much better footage. However, I thought I would share this first footage that we caught on camera. You can now see what we can see in the garden at night.

The video above was taken in my garden on April 9th 2008.

12 comments:

Pete said...

Great footage! May I ask what camera you're using? I've been thinking about getting some kind of set up, and have never really known where to start.

Jane said...

Woo hoo! welcome to the infra-red camera gang! I love looking at mine in the morning over a cup of tea. I'm sure it makes me get up at least an hour earlier... I've seen all sorts of things that I didn't know lived in the garden... hedgehog, lots of foxes, badger even a really cute little woodmouse (named Brian!).

Are you using movement sensing software? When you put your video camera out on dry nights how do you get it to come on and off? mine would run out of tape in 1 hour. Just interested.

Good luck with your filming, I look forward to seeing lots of "night" visitors!

Jane

Robin's Nesting Place said...

You always have such interesting things going on!

Nancy J. Bond said...

Great footage and fascinating!

Cheryl said...

Love the camera, what a great idea. Video wasn't working when I logged on but will try again later.

We have hedgehogs in the garden at the moment. I have seen their fresh droppings in the copse. I to am feeding them, this changeable weather does them no favours.

Mel said...

How great is that!!!
Amazing video :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I can just hear David Attenborough narrarating: "And now the little hedgehog has come looking for its dinner. See how it tenatively sniffs at the food first." I just love your hedgehog videos!

Cabs said...

I love hedgehogs!! We don't have them where i live. Great work!!
terranovadesign.bogspot.com

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Love the vid of the hedgehog Shirl. Good luck with the bluetits nesting. I hope this year everything goes well.

Have a great weekend!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those little hedge hogs are so cute. I love to see what they are up to. The music you put with your video is fun.

shirl said...

Hi there Pete and Jane:-)

Pete – Thank-you, this is a great way to watch what is going on in the dark. It is too early to say if I would recommend this camera but I don’t think I would rate the audio at all. It is definitely a start into infrared and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying watching what it captures. Tonight I have my camera out in the rain watching my hedgehog house to see if anything comes out or goes in it. I’ve put out a crushed peanut trail to help the hogs discover it and scattered sultanas around the area. So far this has not worked I have seen two hedgehogs have just run past but I guess the dog I heard barking had something to do with that. Another has just walked back again. :-D

Jane – Thank-you for the welcome! It’s just in the evening I’m using mine at the moment. No, I don’t use movement software at all. Up until now I have put my video camera in an area where I expect to see something. Yes, I use tapes and they do run out in an hour. I tend to have batteries charging ready to change if I am really looking for something. But usually I plan my hour or so. Bring in the camera view it in reverse and put it back out again perhaps for a little longer. I expect the most common visitors are likely to be neighbours cats walking by :-D

shirl said...

Hi there Robin, Nancy, Cheryl, Mel, MMD, Carol, Yolanda and Lisa :-)

Robin – It’s really interesting what you see when you look more closely. I think it’s fascinating that mallards have decided to play house in your garden :-D

Nancy – Thank-you! I am not familiar with the behaviour of the hedgehogs myself so I am definitely finding it fascinating too :-D

Cheryl – Thank-you! Hope you were able to see the video later. For no reason occasionally some videos don’t play. It is good to hear that you are seeing hedgehogs now too. I agree with you that they do need or help with food at the moment. Enjoy seeing yours :-D

Mel– It is great and to think last year at this time I didn’t know they were even visiting! I hope to get lots of video this year :-D

MMD – LOL… funnily enough I did consider adding something like that to my post! I am delighted that I can share my hedgehog visits :-D

Carol – Thank-you! It is great that I can share my hedgehog visits with everyone in this way :-D

Yolanda – Thank-you, I am glad you enjoyed it. I expect you will have hedgehogs running around your garden in the Netherlands now too. Thanks for your good wishes for the blue tits I am sure you will remember how sad the story was last year.

Lisa – The hedgehogs definitely have a character all of their own although they do remind my slightly of our guinea pigs. Thank-you, I love choosing the music for the videos and country music just seems to suit the movement of the hedgehog perfectly :-D