Thermal Imaging Camera

Over the weekend I had a chance to borrow a thermal imaging camera.

Thermal imaging works by using a special lens which focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view.
The focused light is scanned by infrared-detector elements. The detector elements then create a detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram.
The thermogram is translated into electric impulses. The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, which turn it into data for the display, where it appears as various colours depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the image.

It takes a while to get used to the temperature scale to get the best picture.

I took the thermal imaging camera out during the day. It is a lot harder to make things out at a distance, but I like the way you can take a photograph as well as the thermal image.

The most interesting image is of the oak tree covered in Ivy as you can see how much hotter the Ivy is than the tree trunk.

 

Here on my dog, the white parts are the warmest. The red areas such as his tail and the tips of his ears are slightly cooler.

Later that evening we watched two badgers on the edge of woodland, without the thermal imaging camera we could only hear them.

Two Thermal Badgers

You can just make out the small blue dot which is a Fox running across the field.

Fox in field

I presume this is two badgers but can’t say for sure.

Two Badgers

This glowing white blob is a Wood Mouse, which I spotted in the torchlight.

Wood Mouse

I think this one is a Rabbit.

Rabbit

This is what a Human looks like on a thermal imaging camera.

Human

Posted in Badgers, mammals, nature, outdoors, science, Uncategorized, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

National Nest Box Week

National Nest Box Week runs each year from 14-21 February.

Natural nest sites are disappearing fast,  therefore BTO are encouraging people to put up nest boxes in their gardens to help breeding birds.

In my garden we have 12 nest boxes, which recently we took down to clean and maintain before putting them back up again.

This year I have numbered each of the boxes and will hopefully keep a record of what nests in each one, and which areas of my garden are most successful.

While we were cleaning them out we came across a dead House sparrow.

Nest boxes

House sparrow

Posted in birds, Blogging, Citizen science, Local patch, Oxfordshire, survey, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Badgers in February

The first two weeks in February are when badger cubs are born. There are usually 2-3 cubs in a litter, each being around 15-16cm long and weighing in at about 75-130g.

The cubs will soon be covered in tiny grey hairs with the faint distinctive black facial strips.

The cubs will stay underground until April or May and will be weaned at around three months old.

Unfortunately many lactating female badgers are killed on the roads. If you see a badger on the side of the road and it is safe to do so, please stop to check on it.

Even if it is dead, if it is a female and it is lactating, please contact your local badger group as there may be orphan badger cubs which could starve to death underground if their mother doesn’t return.

Here is a quick video of my local badger cubs from 2016

After a few nights of hard frosts and minus 3 degrees or below, Thursday night was the first night that it was slightly warmer and rained, this meant that the badger sett was pretty busy.

It’s amazing to think that anytime soon this years badger cubs will be born.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Badgers, Blogging, fox, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, trail camera, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Visit to London

I spent Thursday and Friday last week up in London. In my free time I got a chance to check out the wildlife in St James’s park.

One thing I noticed is how accustomed the birds are to humans passing within a few metres of them. Many of the pigeons and squirrels even approached us to see if we had any food.

As we walked through the park, an unfamiliar bird call could be heard high up in the trees, it was a high pitched sort of whistle and squeak.  Four or five green birds flashed past us calling to each other as they went. Ring necked parakeets.

It was the first time I had come across these beautiful but loud green parrots.

Ring Necked Parakeets were thought to be either escapees or deliberately released. They started to breed in the wild in 1969, it is now thought there is 8,600 breeding pairs.

They are a regular sight in many of London’s parks.

Ring necked parakeet St James's parkRing necked parakeet

On hearing a bell, flapping wings and cawing coming from a patch of trees, we could see a Harris Hawk with jesses on, which was being mobbed by around 6 crows.

The Great White Pelicans are a famous part of the park. There are 3 of them, one was given to the park in 1996, after he was found in a garden in Southend, the other two were gifted to the park in 2013. They mainly eat fish, but have been known to eat a pigeon.

IMG_4590

The lake is a great place to spot many types of birds, some live there, while others visit. It is easy to see Grey Herons, Egyptian Geese, Cormorants, Black swans, a Snew, Red- crested Pochards and Pintails amongst a wide variety of common wildfowl and gulls.

IMG_4600IMG_4583IMG_4593

Posted in birds, Blogging, London, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 minute wood clean

There is a lot of publicity about litter and plastic waste at the moment.

Blue Planet highlighted the problems of plastic and ghost nets floating in the ocean, but plastic can also be an eyesore and cause danger to wildlife on land as well.

This is how much I collected around my local patch in a few minutes after school today.

 

Litter 1Litter 2

Posted in Local patch, outdoors, Oxfordshire, plastic waste, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Best Big Garden Bird Watch so far

The Big Garden Bird Watch 2018 turned out to be the best one I’ve done so far.

Despite drizzling with rain to start with, there were still plenty of birds around.

Here’s my list of the birds that actually landed in my garden between 8.30am and 9.30am

2 Doves                                                                                        2 Robins

6 Jackdaws                                                                                  6 House Sparrows

3 Blackbirds (1 female, 2 male)                                               2 Magpies

3 Great tits                                                                                  4 Wood pigeons

2 Chaffinches (1 male, 1 female)                                            12 Long tailed tits

3 Dunnocks                                                                                 8 Blue tits

1 Greater spotted woodpecker                                                2 Coal tits

14 species           56 Birds

As well as the birds that landed in the garden I spotted fly overs by

1 Raven                                                                                    1 Cattle Egret

1 Red Kite                                                                                18 Canada Geese

1 Buzzard

The most exciting part was when a fox trotted through the garden. I think he was heading for the pond for a drink as I often find fox poo on the stones that surround the pond.

Posted in birds, Blogging, Citizen science, garden, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sparrow Roost

The House sparrow number in my garden have been steadily growing over the past couple of years.

Every evening about 12 of them roost in a laurel tree in my garden.

I thought I would do something different and record their chattering and gossiping.

Posted in birds, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, winter | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments