As spring seems to have fully arrived in London, our garden looks quite full of life.
I spent some time this afternoon taking snaps and a few videos of the local parrots. In the morning they come in flocks of 10 or 20, while in late afternoon there's usually 2 or 3 at time.
During the evening, our usual male and female foxes came visiting, quite unusually at the same time, so I took the chance to make a few pictures of them together
Since I've never blogged about this project, there's quite a lot to catch up, so I'm gonna make a first summary with all (or a good part of) the content I've captured so far.
Let's start by videos: here's a youtube playlist with all the videos captured so far
The playlist is ordered starting from the most recent going backwards in time, so the first videos are actually the last.
In addition to the equipment described in the previous post I occasionally am also able to take zoomed pictures with my DSLR cameras, a Canon EOS 700D at first, an EOS 80D more recently, and a Sigma 150-600 zoom lens.
These are the best albums so far
A few pictures taken before I started feeding them (back in January 2018), with an old telelens. The quality is pretty bad, actually, but I put it here anyway, as it's a nice memory.
Odin, the red fox
We didn't know she was a female initially (hence the name). She's a bit older than the other female shown in later pictures, and she hasn't shown up lately, hopefully just because she moved, or because she's pregnant.
Spelacchio and the snow
The only male fox visiting us (at the moment). The name is a joke about the bad fur on his tail in the most recent pictures.
He's easly recogniseable because of his bigger size, and the tail being all black.
Biscotta & Spelacchio
The first pictures show Spelacchio, with his all black tail with some bad fur patches on it.
The white pointed tail fox is Biscotta, a little and lively female.
Roughly more than a year ago I started this little project: feeding local foxes, that were already visiting very often our garden, mainly to try and get as many pics as possible.
When I started I just took occasional pics with a DSLR and telephoto lens, I then installed a first Raspberry Pi with an Infrared sensible camera and a single IR light to monitor the garden during the night, studying their habits and how to best interact with them. IR lights are essential to get a light source without disturbing the foxes (and the environment) with too much visible light.
As I started getting results, I started improving my setup times and times. Firstly I added more IR lights This is my current setup as it stands.
There are two raspberry pi cameras: one inside a waterproof box, getting closeups, the other indoors, with just the camera and its cable getting out of the window. There's a set of three infrared floodlights: the smallest two are visible in the picture, and they illuminate the balcony. There's a third one, much bigger, not visible in this picture, that floods the whole garden.
This is a 3D Printed waterproof box containing a Raspberry Pi and a Raspberry Pi Camera Noir (IR sensitive). Using MotionEye the raspberry can detect motion in video stream, and subsequently start recording.
Wide field camera case for another Raspberry Pi Noir camera. In this case only the camera is outdoors, the Raspberry Pi is indoors with only the camera cable passing through the window.
I call this the "Wide Field" camera, although technically the field of view is exactly the same (since the camera itself is the same), but the camera points to the whole garden instead of just the balcony.
The second Raspberry Pi
A wildlife camera, perfect for producing videos with sound. Although this camera gives much better results for videos, I still keep the two raspberries as they produce better still pictures.