Tuesday, 27 May 2014

New life

The warm and dry weather that was predicted stayed away. Instead we had unstable weather with regular showers or rain. Not good for drinking birds at the hide.
Lately a family of Great spotted woodpeckers (Grote bont specht) is hanging around. Both parents and 1 juvenile are seen regulary at the pool and around the hide. The parents are still feeding the youngster. More and more juvenile Great Tits (Koolmees) are visiting too.
Other visitors are still Red Fox (Vos), Red Squirrel (Eekhoorn), Tawny Owl (Bosuil), Blackbird (Merel), Robin (Roodborst), Chaffinch (Vink) and Eurasian Jay (Gaai).
I'm waiting for dry weather and new species...... .

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

Male feeding the juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

Monday, 19 May 2014


After a wetter period it's getting warm, sunny and dry. Hopefully this will bring some nice species to the pool.
Lately the main visitors at the pool are Eurasian Jay (Gaai), Wood Pigeon (Houtduif), Great Spotted Woodpecker (GB Specht), Blackbird (Merel), European Robin (Roodborst), adult and juvenile Great Tit (Koolmees) and a new species which is visiting daily now, Carrion Crow (Zwarte Kraai).
The trailcam gave some nice results. Red Fox starts passing by or visiting in daylight, once even at 4 in the afternoon. A Roe Deer (Ree) was passing and 2 nights in a row a Tawny Owl (Bosuil) came over at 22.00 hour to take a bath or drink.

Red Fox

Roe Deer

Tawny Owl

juvenile Great Tit

Friday, 9 May 2014

Goshawk is back !

Good news on the trailcam. After a few months, the juvenile Goshawk came back at the hide this week. This time he's coming over to drink at the pool. It was a long rather dry period. Hope to see him a lot this spring/summer at the hide !
Around the hide, Common Cuckoo (Koekoek), Tree Pipit (Boompieper), Willow Warbler (Fitis) and Common Chiffchaff (Tjiftjaf) are singing. Hope to see them at the hide soon.

More quiet

If March was quiet, April was even more quiet.
Birds are not coming to the feeders anymore. It's waiting for dry periods so birds will come to the pool to drink. Many birds are coming back from the south to breed. It's mainly waiting now.
Eurasian Jay (Gaai) is becoming a more regular visitor now, same as Blackbird (Merel) and Song Thrush (Zanglijster). Great Spotted Woodpecker (GB Specht) is also still one of the main visitors.
Also got my first (recorded) visit by a Red Squirrel (Eekhoorn).

March 2014

At the end of February I made a little change to my hide. I replaced the camouflage net in front of the hide by mirror glass. I will have much better better sight now and it will be harder for the birds to notice me. There's only an opening now for my lens.
It's getting more and more quite now at the feeders and hide. Only Blue Tit (Pimpelmees), Great Tit (Koolmees), Chaffinch (Vink), GS Woodpecker (GB Specht), Wood Pigeon (Houtduif) and Eurasian Jay (Gaai) are regular visitors.
I also got my first daylight visit by the Red Fox (Vos) and 2 nightly visits by a Tawny Owl (Bosuil), recorded by trailcam.
From now on it's waiting for Spring.... .

New visitors

February 2014 was already more quiet. Winter was almost over without really having wintertime.
An new visitor seen by the trailcam was a Red fox (Vos) which would visit regulary the next few weeks.
Also Long-Tailed Tit (Staartmees), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Kleine Bonte Specht) and Common Chaffinch (Vink) were seen and photographed at the hide.

Another beautiful day

On the 27th of January 2014 I had another beautiful morning at the hide. The last couple of weeks I had 3 different Common Buzzards (Buizerd) visiting the prey at the hide. When I was there, a few times one came over but they were always very shy and were hesitating to come over to eat or flew away immediately when they wanted to start to eat. Weren't they hungry enough ?
On this beautiful morning I was waiting in the hide for some winter visitors when one of the 3 Buzzards arrived. This one wasn't shy at all and started eating immediatly. He spend some 45 minutes with me, giving me the opportunity to make some nice shots.

Winter visitors

After the exciting visit of the juvenile Goshawk, he kept visiting the hide on regular base but never when I was there. Also 3 different Common Buzzards came visiting frequently. They were very shy and hard to get on photo.
Winter was still far away, no frost and snow, but finally some typical winter visitors came over.
I was able to make photos of Great Spotted Woodpecker (GB Specht), Brambling (Keep), Siskin (Sijs) and Lesser Redpoll (Kleine Barmsijs). Both Siskin and Redpoll were visiting the hide to drink at the pool.

First highlight !!

Because the juvenile Goshawk (Havik) frequently visited the hide the last couple of days I tried to spend as much time as possible to see him. On the 15th of January it was a cloudy and rainy day, not ideal for photography. Despite of this bad weather I decided to go to the hide. After waiting for an hour with almost no visitors suddenly the juvenile Goshawk was there. He immediately went for the prey and started eating. My heart was pounding from excitement ! The bird wasn't shy at all and didn't bother the noise of my camera or me moving around the lens. He stayed eating for almost half an hour before taking off when 2 Common Buzzards were flying over, shouting all the time.


In the beginning of January the trailcam recorded for the first time a visiting Goshawk (Havik), both adult and juvenile. They were attracted by the roadkill pigeon. For the juvenile it was the first of many visits. In the next few days also Common Buzzard (Buizerd) and a Hedgehog (Egel) were seen on the trailcam.
Spending some time at the hide, waiting for the Goshawk or Buzzard to arrive, I caught a Short-toed Treecreeper (Boomkruiper) on camera.

November - December 2013

I started to put out food at the hide. Mainly seeds for the songbirds and roadkill to attract birds of prey.
I was waiting for the winter, frost and snow, so the birds would come over to eat.
Winter stayed away and so did most of the birds because there was still plenty of food in nature.
Mainly Great Tit (Koolmees), Blue Tit (Pimpelmees), Common Chaffinch (Vink) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Grote Bonte Specht) were visiting the hide.
I also installed a trailcam to see which animals were visiting. One of the first nights it registered a Roe deer (Ree) passing by.

How it's made

Being a passionated nature photographer, I always wanted to have my own private photography hide in the forest. After a long search I found a private forest where I could build my own hide with permission of the owner.
I found a rather open space and in October 2013 I started with making a little drinking and bathing pool for the birds and/or other animals. For the hide I started digging a hole so my hide would have a lower viewpoint, better for photography. The base of the hide are branches I found in the forest. I put canvas around it.  For the roof and the front I used a wooden board . Afterwards I covered the hide with a camouflage net and branches.
By the end of October 2013 the hide was finished.
Photos are made with mobile phone.