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roblgs wrote: Thanks for the info and experiences described.
Have to say that I'm uneasy with the idea of any attempts to artificially draw animals to somewhere they're not normally inclined to go, and appalled at the idea of trying to unsettle them with predator calls.
So, choosing the site is the way I'd prefer to go, the use of a hide/blind just a means of obscuring the rather disturbing human form... something that may be possible anyway with judicious use of natural cover, although probably not always affording the best vantage point... and then settling down to wait for nature to come to me. If the site (e.g. watering hole) is well chosen then animals will come once they've accepted my presence and started to ignore or at least not feel threatened by it.
The story of the kingfishers and the snake I find understandable, but sad. I think when shooting wild animals that it's better to leave nature, no matter how raw it might be, to its own devices, and if that meant the snake getting the chicks then so be it... and what a great photo-op! Agreed the acceptability of the birds eating the snake versus the intolerance for things happening the other way round presents quite a paradox.
When I think of all the great BBC natural history films and the rule that nature be left to take its course, I feel that that is the right way to go about it. Observing what nature is doing and where it is doing it, and then setting up, with a hide if necessary, and recording what naturally happens.
Any kind of 'gardening' around nesting birds is bound to be disruptive to their immediate environment, perhaps disturbing reasons why the site was selected in the first place and thus risking abandonment. When building artificial nest boxes the recommendation is to NOT include perches, since while they may be convenient for the nesting species they are not necessary, and may end up aiding predators as well.
Anyway, that digresses from the core subject of the thread.
I'll check out Prin Pattawaro, but also try to improve on my stalking abilities using natural cover. It's often anyway a matter of finding a good spot and then settling down to wait for nature to come to me. As long as i'm not in direct sunlight it should be manageable/tolerable!