Mid March 2014
The essentials of the nest box camera system at St John’s church are now installed. The pole camera and an internal camera were chosen and located to provide full coverage of the interior of the nest box, and a third camera, to be installed after fledging, will be positioned high above the box on the central mullion, looking down onto the new Peregrine Patio which the birds have already used as a ‘dining table’.
The entire Bath Peregrine Project camera system (from cameras, through the computer system to the live streaming capability) was procured from iCode Systems, an established IT company based on the South Coast near Southampton. Their icatchercctv brand has formed the basis of the extremely successful system which has provided recording and live streaming for four years from the HOT peregrine nest box on Norwich Cathedral as well as a number of other HOT sites, and underpins many covert species-specific recording services provided to leading naturalists and broadcasters across the UK. iCode Systems worked closely in conjunction with the Bath Peregrine Project to design a value for money system to meet our requirements and budget, and to construct and test that system prior to its installation on site. Their unquestionable depth of knowledge and expertise in this area of technology deployment, their obvious interest in assisting us to achieve the end product we required, and their refreshingly open approach made working on this project with them both ‘painless’ and enjoyable.
The installation called on the Bath and West Wilts Group (B&WWG) to get their hands dirty in the spire of St John’s church, and for two days the team, ably supported by Dave Gittens of the Norwich Peregrine Project, Andy Davison of B&WWG who travelled down from his new home in Northumberland, and Huw Edwards (MD of iCode Systems) on the end of a telephone, worked together to run many hundreds of feet of power and data cables, and to install, connect and test the equipment. With the exception of internet streaming, currently delayed while broadband connectivity is finalized, the effort expended in system design and pre-installation set-up and testing paid dividends as the system worked as designed as soon as it was switched on. Until we start live streaming from Bath, the B&WWG will post video clips on the Bath Urban Peregrine Project Page.
It is unanimously agreed that the view from the pole camera is of exceptional quality (still grab shot below) and we look forward to recording, documenting and sharing another successful breeding season in Bath.
The breeding pair continues to exhibit mating activity on and around St John’s church, and we anticipate the falcon taking to the nest box sometime soon. Historically she has taken up residence in the nest quite close to laying the first egg, so I’m continuing to check our iCatcher recordings daily, looking for signs of nest preparation/occupation.
Watch this space…….
Bath Peregrine Project Coordinator
HOT Bath and West Wilts Group