So in they went into my basket. Followed very quickly by a tub of mealworms. Then Andrew spied a very attractive looking stand, advertising wildlife camera kits. Everything from pond cams, to nest cams to this, a basic camera kit available in Black and White or Colour. After chatting to the knowledgeable (and erhumm quite attractive) lady assistant I discovered something which still confuses me. The above camera was £70. The nest cam kit, £199. The £129 difference? Seems just to be a wooden nest box as it's the same camera kit in the nest cam kit. Quite a nice FSC Nestbox, I grant you, but I bet you're now thinking exactly what I thought!!
So unsure why, but I had to have one. Even if I need further kit to record direct onto the Laptop, which is easy to install, this was much too much an exciting purchase to miss out on. And completely unplanned, hence the posting title (by the way bairns is Geordie for Children). So into the shopping basket that went. Onward to the tills and away home. Happy, but financially a lot lighter than an hour before. Why save money these days I say!!
This is the camera next to a £2 coin for size comparison. It's tiny and I have to say it's very good (actually it's a standard security camera and as such just a live feed optical device, but the clarity is brilliant). I pushed it out the window last night after dark and spied on the cul-de-sac outside. I have to say absolutely nothing happens outside my house on a Saturday night. Where is everyone? My current plan is to install it looking at a feeder, but we'll see, and once able to record I'll see what I can post on the blog. Boys and toys eh....... !!
That excitement was yesterday, but as I write this on Sunday evening, the wildlife programme Swarm is on BBC 1, starling flocking at the moment described by Neil Tennant as "a quicksilver of Starlings". Fame at last, ha ha.
Today was a much warmer day down here 8 degrees by mid afternoon. As such my drive to a friend allowed me to notice huge gull and corvid numbers talking advantage of the increasing wind and warmer weather. In particular Carrion Crows were wheeling in the air, with mixed species flocks of Jackdaw, Rook and Carrion Crow sharing melting pools of water to bathe, something they'll have struggled to do for weeks. Sadly every time I stopped the car to take a photo, they flew off. So this rubbish Rookie photo above is just a record shot to remind me of the day.
However 2 separate Ravens also hoved into view. The first flew off from a field to my left and tried to climb as it flew in front of and across the path of the car. However strong headwinds slowed it's ascent and gave me cracking views from only a few feet away, just showing how big these birds really are. In flight they are remarkably agile, this one in particular flipped it's wings to roll once it was high enough. The second Raven of the day was flying high about 5 miles further on into my journey.
These were in fact the third Raven I'd seen this weekend. Yesterday afternoon at Sand Bay I had scanned through about 50 Redshank, when there in front of me was a Spotted Redshank. Nice find, but while viewing this through the scope a tell tale Kruaak Krauaak alerted me to a bird behind me. Spotted Redshank scope-voyeurism was instantly abandoned and I watched the Raven through the bins as flew right overhead. Absolutely brilliant and I can never ever tire of these huge and brilliantly entertaining members of the Crow family. Always a thrill to see one, but three in one weekend is just "a Kind of Magic" as Queen sang.