Back to earth!!!

I am finally getting back to ‘normal’ here in the WildlifeKate patch after the last few weeks of Gardeners’ World Live preparation and Show. There is still considerable show ‘debris’ around the house, but I am beginning to sort myself out and start thinking about all the new exciting projects that I will be undertaking in the coming months.

I can quite honestly say that my GWL experience has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It has been so wonderful to meet so many people face to face on my stand and to also meet many who I have been speaking to on Twitter for over a year. I have had so many lovely comments and seem to have inspired many to get out in their ‘patch’ and do a little bit for wildlife… even if it is just buying three tea strainers and putting them up as feeders! 

The amazing publicity I have received has meant that my website hits have zoomed up and I have acquired lots more Twitter followers. A big ‘Welcome’ if you are one of these new people and I hope you enjoy what you find here in the WildlifeKate patch and that I inspire you to get out in your own patch and see what you can do for wildlife.

My garden has rather taken a battering in the last few weeks with a combination of me not being around to fight it from becoming a jungle and the dreadful weather: torrential rain and high winds have meant it looks rather like a jungle at the moment…. the Gardeners’ World footage filmed early in the summer definitely showed it off to its best. I am hoping for some dry weather this weekend so I can get out there with my shears… clip back the hedges which are threatening to encroach on the whole garden and I need desperately to sweep up all the leaf debris.

I installed a new cam view on the twister feeder than I reviewed on Gardeners’ World. Wow! The power of appearing on TV… I had so many enquiries about this feeder… hence my rather ‘cheesy’ photograph of me with what is probably the only Twister Feeder in Birmingham…. or the country!

I already have this feeder in the garden, but positioned this new one at the other end of the garden. It took just a couple of hours for the birds to locate it!

I am aiming to sell this feeder on my shop, but due to the sudden demand, Natures’ Feast have been struggling to get me some. I am hoping they will be able to as I have a number of interested people who emailed me after the show. A new delivery is due at the end of July, but hopefully I can get some before then.

I seem to have introduced a lot of people to the joys of Bushnell trail cams as well! Many people I spoke to many at my stand were unaware of the joys of trail cams and were fascinated by their capabilities and the footage that I had running. For the last month or so, I have been trialling one of the new Bushnell HDMax trail cams and I have been pleased with the results. This new Bushnell family have just arrived in the UK and I now have them available on my shop at http://www.wildlifekateshop.co.uk

For those not familiar with them, this new series are all HD….. that is the daylight video footage is filmed in high definition, giving excellent clarity and I think an increased depth of focus compared to the early versions. The night-time footage is good as well, especially as in these new models you can now switch some of the infra-red LEDs off. In previous models the IR was a little strong at times and could ‘burn out’ the subjects. I had been filtering mine with the translucent plastic from a milk carton, but it is good to have some control over this now.

I have not comprehensively trialled all the aspects of these new trail cams, but I like what I have seen so far with the HDMax 477.. The 476 is the same except it does not have a colour viewer, and the 437 has low glow IR rather than the black (invisible) IR on the other models.

This footage shows the 477 in action:

and these were filmed with the HDMax 477 and  the close-up kit I have designed…..

In terms of wildlife in my patch, it has been good to get back home and watch my cameras once again! The woodpecker youngster, easily identified by his red cap, is still visiting the sieves regularly and there are lots of fledglings in and around the garden. The squirrels are waiting patiently for the Squirrel nut-house to go back up as it is still in the garage after its trip to the NEC! I hope to get that back up this weekend, so my new visitors can see them popping in and out of it. The clay cavern is as busy as ever, with a continual stream of wood mice and voles day and night and the occasional shrew. 

The foxes are performing very well, with Lupin, the smallest cub still squeezing into the hedgehog box every night! They are also visiting the ‘Prickly Diner’ outside feeding area. The hedgehogs are still visiting, although having to battle with the foxes for food and both a fox cub and a hedgehog were feeding at prickly diner one evening. There are two larger cubs, by a different vixen I think and these are seen every night at the fox feeding station… they are just about too big to get in the hedgehog box now…. but they are still trying!

Once again, I welcome all my new visitors and hope you enjoy my random wildlife tweets and wildlife ramblings here on my blog and on my website.  I have lots of projects planned for the coming months and I will be at Bird Fair in Rutland in August, so come and say hello!