The 2013 nesting season wont really get underway for another couple of months, but I've already switched on the system.
Unfortunately, the old Compaq computer that is at the heart of the system didn't want to start, so I had to wheel-in a spare.
For 2013 we will probably only have one camera equipped bird box, our open fronted Robin box. This has been very successful in previous seasons, and in 2012 a pair of robins had two sessions, laying 5 eggs each time, raising 9 chicks successfully. They were all set for a third attempt, but unfortunately one of the adults just disappeared.
New for this season, our robin box is now actually equipped with two cameras: (i) a cheap colour camera (from Maplin) which has a set of infrared l.e.d. lights, and (ii) a more expensive unit (from Henry's) with a lower (better) sensitivity and higher resolution.
Although the Henry's camera is capable of better quality images, the lack of light in the box is going to be a problem, as this is a day-light camera (not infrared).
It's experimental, but I'm hoping to get better pictures from this once the chicks have reach a reasonable size, and sit facing the entrance waiting for Ma & Pa to bring lunch.
So who was our first visitor?
Video from "Maplin" camera
I'll provide more details of our system in a later post. But if you want to fit a camera to a box, the basics are described here.