The reservoir at Edgbaston Pool will provide a main focus for filming water birds, as it already provides a main focus for birdwatching, and for bird and landscape photography for the wildlife photography competition.
Several birds nest on the reservoir, and many others can easily be seen there on a daily basis. Nests of mallard, mute swan and canada goose have been noticed recently, but just as in recent years there is, again, a coot nest right up against the dam wall. Filming there on Friday afternoon (2013.5.17, 17:01), the mother coot was alarmed by two mallards swimming close by, and her calls continued until the male returned bringing nesting material.
A photograph of the nest unattended by Kaler Wong (UMT) last week showed 9 eggs; we will photograph and film the chicks when they hatch soon!
A major aim in filming bird life on the reservoir is to capture bahaviour - a long-term goal is the courtship display of the Great Crested Grebes, but for now the following will have to do (taken at 16:59):
Aside from stand-alone trail cameras to observe the larger animal life, and use of regular, hand-operated still- and video-cameras (whether from a hide or out in the open) to film and photograph both flora and fauna, we also intend to make use of small 'cctv' cameras connected to a computer. Bird nest boxes are a perfect use for these, and our first one is now ready to be set up. It may be a little late for the spring, but birds searching for a nest for a second brood of chicks may take up residence in 'box 1' - our first monitored box - or may indeed use it to roost for the night.
Images below show the box itself, and the view inside past the camera. Clearly visible are the translucent 'windows' to allow more light for colour filming inside when the lid is closed (the camera defaults to infra-red when insufficient light is available) and wood shavings to line the floor of the box. All being well, it will be in position at the start of next week.
A different method of acquiring wildlife footage, here: simply film birds at the feeder with a regular camera from the hide of the field classroom (albeit with a long lens). The feeder is well established, and on the day of filming was seen to attract not only the more common blue-, great- and coal-tits, robins, chaffinches and greenfinches, but also the great spotted woodpecker, bullfinch and nuthatch.
Footage captured between 1 and 2 pm on 2013.5.2 (Thurs).