Saturday, 22 October 2016

Project SBM (or smb) small birds and mammals

gg in the forest

This project aims to set up a small safe feeding area in a forest in a secret location on public access land in Hampshire or Dorset.

I sat on a hill overlooking a river watching someone kayaking towards the sea when I noticed a kestrel fly into view and start hovering. After a minute or so the hawk dived to the ground. I felt for the small mammal that was being ripped to shreds.

BBC Autumnwatch is in Dorset soon and I thought the BBC presenters would be jumping up and down with delight if they could have filmed the hawk killing it's unfortunate and innocent prey. I have decided to leave predators to BBC presenters and try and do something to help small mammals and small birds, both of which get ripped to pieces by owls, hawks, stoats and weasels.

part of a safe feeding area
 I've found an area with thick cover where woodland mammals might make their home and where there are some small birds.

When I was young a forest would be alive with birds but small birds seem to be in a steep decline. In fact despite the high number of cats, towns are more of a haven for small birds than hedgerows, woodland and forest. So I'd like to do a little bit to help.

I've made a feeder out of an old plastic protector of sapling stems and pinned it firmly to the ground. This gives protection to small mammals from hawks and owls. It makes it difficult for squirrels to get at the food. It fits perfectly with the environment and nobody would even notice it was there. I put some feed down the other day and it has been taken. The intention is to go to the location whenever I can and put some food down.

My reward? With any luck I should get some great photographs next spring and summer.

If you walk round woods and forests you'll see nest boxes for owls placed high in the trees.

Well here's one for the birds that owls kill and I'll put it deep in cover.