With today being a self-enforced office day (unfortunately it has to be done sometimes) I knew that my Random Act of Wildness wasn’t going to involve any of our reserves. With Matt wanting to take part in some activities and having not been feeling well the last few days I thought that we’d be best looking at some of the indoor activities we could do at home. I started flicking through the app and quickly came across one that I knew we would both enjoy – watch a wild web cam!
I discovered wildlife webcams back in my first year at university when I spent an exam season watching Lily the Black Bear hibernate and give birth to a cub as I revised parasites and population dynamics. Since then I’ve become aware of more and more species being covered by web cams; in captivity, in dens and nests or as a trail cam recording anything that walks by. These cameras give people the chance to get up close and personal with wildlife from the comfort of the sofa and has given us a chance to witness previously unseen intimate moments.
Now I must admit I got a little bit of a head start over Matt and watched a web cam at work when I discovered the camera filming the Common Crane nest at WWT Slimbridge. When I quickly checked twitter, between sending a couple of emails, I saw an announcement that the cranes had not only nested but an egg had hatched. I LOVE the WWT and the Great Crane Project is fantastic so did not hesitate to get the stream up and running. When I first started watching, one of the cranes was hunkered down whilst the second of the pair was feeding off screen with no sign of the hatchling. I tucked the window into the corner of my screen and carried on with work. Eventually I was rewarded with the sight of a tiny fuzzy orange head wobbling around – the chick! Mum and Dad stood by as it had a little wander around before it settled back in the nest and was tucked back in under mum or dads magnificent feathers.
Throughout the little snippets I watched the cranes had a rather amusing supporting cast. A pair of Black-headed Gulls went through their courtship display on screen before eventually (and rather clumsily) getting down to business. I loved the Shelduck ducklings that floated past on numerous occasions. Other stars included the Greylags and their goslings, Shoveler with their fantastic bills and the Swallows whizzing past as they caught insects.
Once I was home Matt and I decided to check out the Springwatch cameras. They currently have a number set up across rspb Minsmere covering a range of different species. We’ve been dipping in and out amongst everything else we’ve been doing.
The cameras change throughout the day but this evening we’ve been watching Sparrowhawks,
a Great Tit on the nest
and my favourite has to be the Stone Curlews! They have the most incredible eyes!
Although this was the activity for today I’m going to be dipping in and out of these cameras over the next few weeks to see how many eggs hatch and watch the young grow!
Now back to watching Little Owl chicks!