Woodland photography hide

EMAIL ME TO HIRE – youngnaturalistizzyfry@gmail.com

SPECIES LIST: Blue tit, Great tit, Marsh tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed tit, Nuthatch, Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Pheasant, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Collared dove, Brambling, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Magpie, Mistle thrush

Grey squirrel, Hare, Field vole

A few months ago, I went to a wonderful woodland bird hide and had an idea! I am so unbelievably lucky to live on a farm with beautiful ancient woodland opposite my house – so I had the idea to make my own hide in it!

I put an advert out for anyone selling an old shed, and had a response from someone saying I could have theirs for free if I removed it! So again, I am very lucky to have been able to use the farm forklift to lift it out of someone’s garden!

Then the first step was to renovate! We had to add in flap windows and replace some of the rotten boards. Then we painted it with waterproof wood paint!

To take it into the wood, we used the farm gator to haphazardly balance it on and drive it up! I am not lying when I nearly had a heart attack from holding my breath for so long whilst it was lifted – basically slided actually! – into place!

Once the hide was in place, we started making a bird of prey feeding station. I am hoping to attract sparrowhawks and buzzards!

Then we started on the reflection pool – my absolute favourite part!! We made the pool structure out of a board and some timber and then the legs out of big sturdy posts. The two at the bottom were hit into the ground, and the other four partly dug into the ground. The main job was getting it absolutely level – and after many tries we managed it and it is now perfectly level everywhere! Then we added black sheet and filled it with water!

I added pieces of mossy wood around the sides of the pool for photography purposes! I am unbelievably happy with how it has turned out and I can’t wait to get some shots of it!

So the last thing to do, was add feeders! I have put up 2 squirrel feeders, and 2 feeding stations with a variety of food to attract lots of different species!

The feeders had only been up for about 5 minutes when a flock of Blue tits and Great tits arrived! And soon after that the other tit species (including Marsh tit!) and Nuthatches arrived. And then everything! Robins, Blackbirds, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Wrens – and even a Treecreeper on the tree next to it!

I was so surprised at how quickly the birds found the feeders! I also hear Jays quite often in the wood, so I am hoping they will come down to! And the reflection pool should attract more species that wouldn’t go on the feeders, but will love a bath – such as Blackcap, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Goldcrests!

I am so incredibly happy with how it turned out!! And to my dad: best dad in the world award for helping me to build it all!

I will be out there all the time now! So expect lots and lots of photos!!