Work on the hide

Sat 7th Jan 2012

Well we’re a week into 2012 now and what a wild week it’s been. I’m still working on the hide with Billy and we’ve taken our lives into our own hands in the gales. Pretty hairy it’s been but I wanted to get it done. We’ve been insulating it, you see, as it’s so cold in there, especially very early in the morning or late at night, because I’m out there all hours getting the filming done.

I’ve had to get rolls of special insulation, like loft insulation but with a backing on. It swells up five or six inches thick and we’ve put it all round the walls and on the ceiling. Then we’ve covered it with green canvas.

Billy has also altered the steps. I made them too far apart and it was quite a job to climb up. He’s taken out the 12 I put in and replaced them with 24. The ladder jumps about like a snake in strong wind so you need a firm foothold to stay on it.

We’re also going to put a big post on one of the corners, about the thickness of a telegraph pole. This will hold the hide steady in the wind and support it if the branch it’s on breaks.

I’ve got the Trophy Cam sorted now and am getting some great shots. There’s a good number of wild boar about and one’s come back that I thought had been shot. The badgers are staying away at the moment. I don’t think they like the boar. I’ve seen them around other places though. I’m going to get another three Trophy Cams to set up in other places to try and film otters and kingfishers in the Spring.

I’ve now got 18 different bird boxes up in the area around the hide. I face them mainly north-west, south-west and west but never east because they’ll be in full sun. It’s ok if they are on a building under the eaves but I find the other directions best. There is already a blue tit roosting. I put a little camera in to film her but the next night she roosted in the next box along.

I’ve had to order two more box cameras as the squirrels keep ruining them. They like to chew the wire. It’s a real problem and I need to think of a way of stopping them.

I’ve put up a few open fronted nesting boxes. Rather than having a hole for the birds to in and out, the top half of the front is open, just a big hole, if you see what I mean. The flycatchers and robins like to nest in these. I’m really looking forward to seeing who uses all the boxes this year. I’m also really hoping to see the wrens again.

I’ve concentrated all my activity on the top part of our land this year while I’m making my new film. I’m aiming to have it finished by May and am calling it ‘Animals On Our Land’.

So it’s been a busy start to the new year but I’m pleased with what we’ve got done. I hope you’ve had a good week as well.