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Rare Footage Cam

Welcome to my ‘Rare Footage Cam’ where I collate the best of my nest cam footage for you in a series of short films. Each year I begin a new wildlife project in order to collect reference material for my paintings and since I’ve begun to use cameras hidden inside animal nests I’ve been uncovering some amazing secrets of how different species behave when they are hidden from view. So far my revelations have included the best quality colour footage from inside a weasel and a kingfisher nest and close up shots of a rare hawfinch flock. 

Follow the link posted in the captions relating to each clip to find out more about how I got the footage and how I go about building nest boxes to attract different species. You can also follow my latest rare footage on You Tube by clicking here to follow my Rare Footage Playlist.

Hawfinches 2017/8

A rare invasion of hawfinches from Eastern Europe had bird watchers like me all of a ‘twitter’ this winter. Then when a flock of more than 100 of these rare finches were spotted feeding on the seeds of hornbeam trees at The Yorkshire Arboretum, near Castle Howard in North Yorkshire I went out to see them. Hawfinches enjoy a near-mythical status among birdwatchers, since they are the hardest of all British birds to spot. Registered on the RSPB’s red list, there are estimated to be just 1,500 resident in the UK. I holed myself in a purpose built hide for most of Christmas, watching and photographing these birds up close. Read my blog post about how I got these close up photographs and find out the amazing facts I discovered about hawfinches by clicking here. 

Kingfishers Inside their Nest 2017

In 2017 I embarked on a challenging project to film inside a kingfisher nest. The scheme involved building an artificial river bank with a bespoke kingfisher nest rigged up with cameras inisde it. I was overjoyed when a pair of kingfishers chose to nest inside it within months. The footage I got was the only colour video of kingfisher chicks ever filmed. I’ve collated a few of the best clips from the nest in a short clip below, but you can read the full story of how I built the kingfisher nest and see a film I made of the experience by clicking here.

Inside a Weasel Nest, 2015

One of the first nest box projects I embarked on was to watch a weasel inside its nest in order to see how it interacted with its young. Below is a clip of the moment the weasel moved its kits from the nest where they were born to a new site – something these tiny mammals do regularly in order to stay safe from predators. The footage from inside this nest is still incredibly rare. It took me some time to develop a nesting chamber suitable for a wild weasel. I had to make sure the entrance to the chamber was large enough to fit a weasel in, but too small for a stoat, in order for the weasel to use it. Click here to read more about the project and follow my You Tube channel to see more clips from inside a weasel nest on Rare Footage playlist by clicking here.

Battle Between a Barn Owl and a Kestrel April, 2015

The following footage of an amazing hour-long battle between a barn owl and kestrel was the first piece of rare animal video I got and it makes for edge-of-the-seat watching. I had only recently installed cameras inside my bird boxes and I happened to have the monitor showing in my living room when the battle commenced. I watched transfixed as these two birds of prey fought over possession of this nest box. Watch this clip to see which bird won. The barn owl doesn’t look very powerful against the larger kestrel, but those long claws are very powerful and have a very long reach.

Interested in my nest cam footage? Don’t miss the latest from my other nest cams, listed below:

The full story and all the best clips from my nestcams

Kestrel Cam

Barn Owl Cam

Stoat Cam

Tawny Owl Cam


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