Friday, 20 May 2011

CCTV monitoring of a Swift colony

Contributed by Dick:

Old Beach Farm, Landbeach

One of the Swift cabinets on my house, with 9 chambers (on the left), overlooks my neighbour's garden. I cannot see it from my own property. Last year, I would stand on her lawn for over an hour at a time to monitor what was going on.

This year, I have installed a CCTV camera (from a disused tit box) that has all 9 entrances in its field of view. Further, I have bought SecuritySpy motion detection software for my Mac. I can now review several hours of elapsed time in a few minutes. This clip shows a two hour session in the evening with all 10 birds coming in to roost.




I am quite impressed with SecuritySpy, When it detects motion, it records a specified number of seconds before and after the event. I have set this to 1 second.

The only problems that I have encountered are such thing as spiders wrapping their webs around the camera, moving shadows as the sun shines through the leaves of the trees onto the box, and the occasional video glitch. The last of these is greatly reduced by shutting down everything on the computer, except for the video capture software.

I have used Quicktime to edit the results to remove these unwanted parts of the recording - it is very easy to use.

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