About our nest and site camerasAdults asleep in nest hole

    It is not practical for us to stream the live video from our cameras openly over the internet either through our own system or through the resources of a third party.   In the latter case a requirement is that cameras operate in the area all year and we do not wish to accommodate this.
    Why is it not practical for us?   Because we observe a strict policy of not approaching the colony (nest camera) during the breeding season and simple occurrences that we will not rectify during the season cause a loss of suitable images.

One nest hole    As it is compelling viewing we are making an alternative arrangement as outlined below.   Although it is almost 40 years since our Adviser first noted how juvenile Sand Martins prepare themselves for flying by pressing their wings and tail down onto the nest (after flapping their wings vigorously) until they are able to hold the weight of their body by their wings and tail alone, we still see little work done by him whilst they are performing this act.   The terrific fights in the burrow should an unwelcome adult enter the hole, or when juveniles are considered to have outstayed their time and are being thrown out, are also work stoppers, although he tells us he is studying their behaviour and that's his job!   Apparently others also find them interesting as the clips on the internet www.hbw.com/ibc/ have the highest ratings for interest value;  as  infra red images they cannot equal the normal clips.

    The alternative we are trying is to show the images through MSN Messenger.   This will allow us to show current images, or, if these are unsatisfactory, or it is out of season, archived video of behaviour as requested by interested viewers.   This will have the benefit of being of more educational value as we will be able to describe the behaviour and answer questions whilst the images are shown, but it will not raise the profile of the Sand Martin as we wished.   If you would like to take part in our MSN Messenger trials please email us.
    The cameras were required and supplied by our adviser  to record the breeding behaviour of Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) at his site in southern Scotland Lat. 54o53' N Long.40o01'W.

    This site was built to his design after testing various constructions, the first built in 1971.   It incorporates the necessary features for the safety of the Sand Martins as well as allowing them to carry out their full breeding behaviour.

    The first site camera was installed in 2002 to archive film of breeding behaviour.   This camera is capable of giving a full screen image of activity at one hole entrance, increasing to coverage of 12 adjacent holes.   The second site camera was used from 2003 to give full coverage of all the site's holes at one time.   A third camera is used independently for covering the feeding area used by the colony and does not stream at real time.   

    The nest camera  was installed in 2006 and has been incorporated in the new site in hole RT1.   That is the box on the 'R'ight as seen, in the 'T'op row of holes and number 1.   The holes are numbered from the left, each box separately and each row separately.   The boxes are referred to as 'L'eft, 'C'entre and 'R'ight.   L,C and R.   The rows as 'T'op, 'M'iddle and 'B'ottom.   T.M and B.   L and R boxes hold three rows of 13 holes and C box holds three rows of 14 holes, giving a total of 120 holes.   

 Photo shows juvenile being fed at the nest camera hole RT1  

Juvenile being fed at the entrance to the nest camera hole.   


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