Tuesday 28 April 2015

BirdBox2015: we wait patiently

Our female blue tit has been sitting on her clutch of eggs for 5 or 6 days.

So it may be another 9 or 10 days before we start to see chicks breaking out of their eggs and demanding to be fed.

That is assuming that the local predators don't carry away mum or dad first!

Sunday 26 April 2015

The Moths are back!

It's that time of year again, when Emperor Moths emerge from their cocoons, and ours have been doing just that.

They appear to be about 10 days later than last year (just like the blue tits) but this weekend a female emerged first, followed by a bunch of guys and gals.

I think we have also found a way to hurry them along.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Raspberry Pi GPIO control with PHP

When I setup my Raspberry Pi server 8 months ago, one of its potential uses was for me to play with PHP and hopefully learn more about this language.

I found a bit of time this week, so decided to try making a minimal PHP program to control the Pi gpio from a remote computer or phone.

What I've come up with is a simple file using HTML and a few lines of PHP code.

Friday 17 April 2015

Raspberry Pi Software Defined Radio

OK, so I failed in my attempt to get the GQRX Software Defined Radio (SDR) to work on my Raspberry Pi.

But I've now come up with a simpler arrangement using rtl_fm that does work.

By using rtl_fm and some simple lines of code, I now have a Pi SDR with preset stations and the ability to fine tune.

Thursday 16 April 2015

SDR: Software Defined Radio

Having read a couple of articles on SDR (Software Defined Radio) I seem to have accidentally clicked the "Add to Basket" button, and ending up with some cheap hardware.

The required software is even cheaper than cheap. Its free!

So instead of doing important stuff like fixing the car or protecting our blue tits from sparrowhawks, I've allowed myself to be distracted.

Friday 10 April 2015

BirdBox2015: do we have our first egg?

The blue tits in last years box (the BirdBox2014 design) have continued to build and develop their nest.

Its team work, with the female doing apparently all materials procurement and building, while the male keeps guard and throws his little body at other blue & great tits that dare come too close.

And we may even have our first egg, if my interpretation of the event logs is correct.

Saturday 4 April 2015

BirdBox2015: no wait!....something is happening!

I dragged myself out of bed just after 7am to make the tea, and turn on the bird box monitor.

I was greeted by a blank screen, meaning both boxes were off.

But by the time I'd emptied the dishwasher, a female eSpeak voice proudly announced "bird box...on".

Friday 3 April 2015

BirdBox2015: any takers?

I'm becoming increasingly concerned that both Raspberry Pi powered bird boxes may remain empty this season.


Not only has activity dropped right off, but the expected "move-in" date has now passed.

Have we just been unlucky, have I done something wrong, or are the local garden birds running late this year?