On Friday I visited another London site to fix a nestbox which had been designed specifically for a ledge that I knew the resident pair of peregrines frequent, the only way to secure this was by scaffolding. The scaffold would also allow the box to be lifted out annually to replace old with new substrate. With the scaffold in mind the box was designed not only to hold the Tubes but additionally allow (if successful) juveniles access to the remainder of the ledge to exercise and strengthen wing muscles. Having wing strength in their maiden flight is sometimes the difference between grounding and a successful flight.
|Coot prey - the 2nd one recently, got to have been at night|
|Proberly another night time take - Woodcock|
The ledge as expected was completely filled with water, this was the main reason that they had failed in the last few years, the drainage holes were clogged up with prey. Once cleared of water the ledge was cleaned out and a substrate base had been put down partially to take the box but also to stop it clogging again. In the last few years I have now made it policy to use a nestbox unless the building /structure has a ‘natural’ overhang protecting them from the elements, if so I use a Tray. Looking on the camera at the Wildlife Whisperer site last year when we had torrential rain showed at times how hard it can be for them, you only have to look last year at Nottingham,sadly that was tragic.
Glad to say the fitting all went well, now it is up to the pair, of all the sites I have placed Trays and Nestboxes this is one where I am very optimistic, to me to get a box accepted straight away is what it’s all about, satisfaction.
|The box ready to go in|
|About to put the substrate in|
|In position, the section cut away will allow access to the ledge|
|Secure, lets hope they like it.|
As I write this I am heading there in the morning at dawn (Sunday), the icing on the cake will be after everyone’s effort, to see a big white breast come waddling out from the depths of the box.
Too easy, acceptance after 2 days, you never know……