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January 2009

January 13

Thawing, 6°C, rain. There is no more snow, despite this still fresh new banner!


A morning, all in red. It has been a long time since I saw a red dawn that tainted all with a pretty salmon colour.




During the cold spell I used to break the ice once in a while.
They are happy to find a normal trough, they all want to bath and there is a rush to the bath today.
The freeze has irretrievably broken their favourite pool; they must settle for the dish this time. But it seems to their liking.


14 January


Grey weather, but warmer. 6 °C.

A short visit today at 11h23.


15 January


Beautiful blue sky, 6°C, which inspires much the tit this morning.

Two entries in the nestbox, singing. It stays just a few seconds and spends a lot of time at the door.

Some "fans" again and it's gone.

The lighting is natural light in the nest box, quite low, the colours are not very bright.


December 23 at 11am
January 2 at 11am
January 8 to 10:45 am  
January 10 at 10:39 am
January 11 at 11:30 am
January 15 at 10:56 am  and 10:57 am
On average 30 to 50 seconds of inspection.

Except for the brawl of January 2 (I do not like to see them fight I am a bit reluctant to show them to you), other visits are quiet inspection visits of the nest, probably from the male.

The camera is now online. WEBCAM link. Attention: this year JavaScript is required. Lighting is natural for the moment and I will switch to IR in the evening or if the light is too low. As you can see, the passages are made in the morning when the sun lights up the nest

Sorry, not yet translated. Translation in progress.


16 January

Grey, very grey, not many birds, a short visit at the entrance this morning, the blue that's all.

.Here is the new nest box that we installed in early November. I had decided not to talk about it until the first entries into the nest box. 

It is time.

We installed a camera and not a webcam.

Because of the longer lens focal length, the nest box has grown in order to see the entire bottom of it.

The camera is a colour camera and IR, with motion detection.
It is a surveillance IP camera. Relatively small size, which we liked.

After some research, we settled for a wired camera instead a wifi. Anyway, even for a wifi we would have to lay the power cable.

Now we don't have anymore the distance limitations of USB cables. We were, in previous years, well beyond the theoretical limit of usb cables, with the problems that might arise.

The cables that come down on the left are hidden by a wooden board as the year before. These cables had caused much concern to the previous tenants at the beginning of nesting, and also to us because they were systematically pulled and pecked.

The camera is mounted over a glass plate pierced by a hole for the mike. As always, the orientation of the camera can be adjusted from the outside. 

The white LEDs provide illumination. It is adjustable from home (ours). 

For the moment the camera is not yet streaming and broadcasts, as the previous year, the shooting captured by the motion detection.


Less discreet because of its height, the nest box is installed in the same place as the other years.

Cables enter at the bottom rear of the nest box and connectors are housed in a plastic box that protects them from the weather.


30 January

After a short break and grey days, it's cold again, with a beautiful sun. 

Few visits to the nest box. Two visits on 17 and 23 January.

Passage of a long-tailed titThis is a first on the balcony. She did not stay long. The blue tit charged on her and she did not insist and flew, followed by the blue. Pity. Curious attitude of the blue tit.



The kestrel came back twice on the same day. Of course all the birds hid immediately as usual. But it seems to come here only for observation, not for hunting.

She comes and asks softly, looking right and left.

She posed quietly on the rail for two long minutes.


Attention, it pricks! 

Clearly, dangerous thorns are not a hindrance to it yellow talons. 

Perched on the Opuntia, it shows its mottled chest.

The picture is not good, but it is the only front view that I have.


It is a female. I can not say if it is the same, of course.
I wonder if it remains in the area. The kestrels are solitary outside the breeding seasons.

Breeding occurs in April and flights in June. If it settles not too far we may have the opportunity to see them again. (Well, I still prefer to remain just a simple observation post ...).


A hairy dipteran ...


I found the photo funny with this reflection.

It is a Syrphe which walked within on the glass.

Out of curiosity, wondering what he was doing there in the winter, I went looking for him to try to identify it.

I think it is Heringia Hering. Male.
Size: 1cm


And, little surprise, if the identification is correct (whet follows seems to confirm), new news of my gall aphids (Pemphigus spirothecae) of the poplar gall spiral.

This time, predator side.

Larvae of this Syrphid parasitize poplar galls and feed on aphids. En it is these adults that emerge. It is the larvae which, carnivores, are predators of aphids. Adults consume nectar and pollen ... two reasons to welcome adults and offspring in the garden!



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