SPRINGTIME dramas are being played out live thanks to a Barnton enthusiast who has transformed his garden into a secret studio for wildlife.
Dave Harazny, also known as Camo Dave, has planted mini cameras and microphones around his garden and streams the trials and tribulations of birds and beasts live to his website.
Dave said: “Its constant action in the garden with 16 mini cameras situated around, most now on nest boxes and on open nesting birds but also on feeders and a water pool.
“It’s simply great watching the antics of the birds and also listening to them as I have live mics near nests, you can certainly hear some sounds from the birds that you wouldn't hear by just going out in the garden.
“The good thing about having cameras is you can watch the birds as the lay eggs and raise their young without disturbing them and putting stress on to them.
“As I record the nests for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) nest record scheme, I have to stress that the birds’ health is paramount and less disturbance to a nest the better.”
He added: “Everything has got the urge to breed – the earliest bird ever to nest in my garden this year was a pair of wood pigeons nesting in February and raising two chicks.”
Other stars of the show this year are tawny owls, currently incubating four eggs, and the humble house sparrow, which has been red listed by the BTO because it is seriously in decline in some parts of the UK.
Dave has set up an e-petition to make it mandatory for developers to build house sparrow terraces on each new house.
“I feel that the decline is because the sparrows don't have any nesting sites under eves any more, because most new build houses have plastic fascia boards hence no gaps or holes,” he said.
“At the moment I have four pairs of sparrows nesting.
“It’s always exciting to see the first eggs hatching and the parents feeding them and eventually the chicks fledging and taking their first leap into the big wide world.”