Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine's is the best time for a bit of boxing!

Valentine's Day is a grand time for a bit of boxing and with Feb 14th also the start of National Nestbox Week, it is a great time to get those nest boxes made and put up, in time for prospecting birds. Here are some designs from the BTO. With the first songbirds of the season already singing, Spring seems just around the corner. Or at least, it we have several inches of snow! Anyhow, there was a robin, a wren and blue tits active and calling as we rigged a false-crotch system (see below), hoisted up the big triangular box and bolted it into position, about 10' up a larch. The landing platform complete with drainage holes was screwed into position and for the final touch we added a layer of the finest wood chips for as bedding.
Our grand plans to zip round the county putting up more owl boxes today was a little over ambitious in the face of relentless blizzards so we settled for a tally of one. Never mind, it is a top spot for owls here with lots of field margins and rough grass and check this - a barnie has been seen hunting very close to this site most days this week - so fingers crossed for a new tenant one day very soon!


Here is my (ahem) beautiful diagram of our false-crotch system that makes hauling the boxes up the tree so easy. A micro pulley (red) attached by a 'biner (grey) to a rigging rope (blue) needs to 'float' a few feet above the spot on the tree where you want to attach the box. Your hauling rope (green) runs through the pulley with one end tied around the box and the other end for your pal to pull on. You also can run this end through a progress capture device like a Grigri tied off to an anchor.