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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cleaning the Scaffold Nest Box

January 25th

This was always going to be the hard one, I remember putting it in last year and thinking at the time due to the angle and weight, this is going to be a cow son getting it out again for cleaning.

I had enlisted the help of my good mates Paul Hawkins and Martin Blow to provide a bit of muscle, Martin also bought Jamie his son along, he became the official photographer, at 13 he’s already bigger than me, he naturally became director of operations.
First plan of action was to rope it through the eyelets to make sure secure all the time and then remove all the scaffold clips. No less than 20 clips holding the box down in position so a little time consuming before the box was eventually ready to lift out.

The all important exercise ledge showing the cut out of the nest box to allow access for juveniles.

Where the box gets it name from.

On arrival this morning at 8.00am we had noted the Falcon was already in the box, most likely roosted in there, shortly later the Tiercel flew by so both birds already on territory which was good to see.
With all the clips removed we then hauled the box out and over the parapet wall, a bit of a job, it took 3 of us to do it, it’s a dead weight and full of substrate.

Surprisingly like the others this was pretty clean as well, the storms and the constant rain appeared to have done the job of washing it out naturally but nonetheless, it was cleaned, scraped and fresh substrate placed inside.
Putting it back was definitely harder, you’re trying to keep the box on a level to stop the substrate sliding and lower it down, in the end we slid it over at an angle and I managed to go down on the ledge and level the substrate off with a harness on.

Cleaning out

Fresh Substrate

Paul, yours truly and Martin.

All in all it worked well and quite amusing to occasionally get checked out by the Tiercel overhead but for the most part, they both sat and watched on another structure about 200 metres away.
Thanks to Paul, Martin and Jamie, it would have been impossible to do it on my own, fingers crossed for another good year!

Monday 27th sees my last nest box to be cleared out, this is the one at Charring X Hospital, hopefully the weather will hold as Sunday is not looking too good.

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