Cameras at the Tufa Field
These are our views, Camera 1 looking south, (The Field), Camera 2 (Entrance) looking at the entrance to the site.
Click on the image to see and hear real-time (Camera 1 only) .
If you think you have seen something and want to check, you can rewind up to about 5 minutes. The best times to view are at dawn and dusk
Images are recorded and may make it into our gallery.
What is this?
This is the main Tufa Field. The remains of the plastic reptile fence from a previous scheme are still visible when the grasses are short. This was to isolate the central area, with artificial refuge spots, so that amphibians and reptiles could be translocated to a new site. The plastic has now degraded due to weathering and presents a considerable hazard to the inhabitants food chain, plus adding to the general problem of plastic waste in our environment.
The cutting of paths and removal of some vegetation can be seen, this has reduced the cover for smaller species and reduced hunting grounds for owls and buzzards.
A woodlark nest has also been lost.
Slightly to the west and marked by a wooden pyramid is a fox den.
We sometimes pan this view to see more of the field. At the top of the picture is the developing new Tufa Flush, to add to the existing two established sites further to the right ( out of shot).
This is automatically zoomable and tracks objects of interest.
What is this?
This view scans the entire eastern end of the site from entrance to flushes. Before the ‘ecology’ work, this was a summer nettle patch supporting White, Blue and Orange Tip butterflies and providing cover for voles and small reptiles like Slow Worms. Brush cutters and a high-power tractor rotary mower were used to clear this area in 2020 and the boundaries of the Tufa Field. In summer 2021, this recovered slightly and continued recovery in 2022. In August 2023, this vital support for Moths , Butterflies and other nectar feeders was again destroyed, this time during the breeding season.
The creature path, made by badgers and used by other animals to navigate the field has now also gone. .
What you might see.
During the day, especially close to dawn and dusk , you might see Fallow Deer and Foxes , and a wide variety of birdlife including Tawny Owls, Buzzards, Magpies, Crows, Wood Pigeons, Jays, Collared and Stock Doves. In the autumn there are murmurations of starlings, before they settle into the adjacent trees, and Pipistrelle and Horseshoe Bats flitting. In the spring there is usually a family of foxes playing in the sun. The summer nettle beds are home to Commas, Common Blues, Painted Ladys, Small and Large White butterflies. Plus the odd blurred person.
What you won’t see.
The field is home or transit lane to a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and invertebrates which are too small to pick up on the cameras. But it really comes alive at night and in the twilight times at both ends of the day.
There is a limited amount of night vision on the cameras. In summer the field is full of flying insects, butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damsel flies, and you might pick up Badgers, Deer and Foxes again. After dark is when the microphones come into their own*. This part of the city is quiet between about 8pm and 6am and you can hear tawny and little owls, barking deer, screeching pheasant, barking foxes and badger calls. In spring and summer of course there is a dawn chorus that can only be described as cacophonous!
Reptiles include common lizards and slow worms, amphibians include common and palmate newts, common toads, common and pool frogs.
Night time mammals such as hedgehogs, fieldmice and voles are currently hemmed in by the plastic fence. The field is an important food source for raptor birds, the buzzards and owls in particular. There are also many nighttime insects especially moths which form food for the bats.
We have documented the species we have so far encountered here.
* For local privacy, we turn off the microphones during the day.
Streamed images are low resolution, saved images and videos are high resolution where possible.
Some areas may be masked for privacy.