These last couple of weeks have been pretty manic in regard to cleaning out the boxes for the pairs that I monitor, the last one, Charing X Hospital, was cleaned out today along with the Balcony it resides on.
With the able assistance of Kyle and Cristina from Industrial Abseiling the balcony and box received its annual clean out.
|Nathalie,Cristina and Kyle (apologies if names are spelt wrong)|
This is a publicized pairing,well known on the Hospital, they initially failed on the balcony in 2010 due to flooding, hence placing a nest box to assist in breeding.
The pair are directly monitored by Nathalie Mathieu and have succeeded annually since the nest box was placed, however the balcony itself, although ideally positioned and situated has terrible drainage.
|Kyle and Cristina cleaning out the Balcony|
The outlet drain is positioned down one end, so at the time I placed the box a good distance away from it working on the theory that the water will run down hill to it,wrong.
Unfortunately when constructed they got the falls wrong, now when it rains it also fills up the balcony saturating the nest box base. The drain is not good either and we have made many attempts to make it work better.
Basically when it rains the whole balcony fills up.
The Peregrines have taken it in their stride and have annually used the box since 2011, in the past I have been reluctant of lifting the box too high due to walkabout chicks, from 12 days they are on the move.
My worry has always been, if I lift it and they go outside, will they be able to get back in?
|As you can see very wet everywhere|
This year we have lifted it 12mm to give the box the chance to dry out, when it floods again hopefully the chill will not go through to the base of the box and the substrate now being higher.
To try and alleviate the height issue for walkabout chicks, ceramic floor tiles have also been placed near the entrance; hopefully the extra step will do the trick if they do come out.
|Fresh substrate with a new scrape in the centre|
|Box now lifted, heavy duty tiles placed around for access|
|Ready for 2015|
The box is now 4 years old and the pair are used to it, they are safe for 2015 but with the Hospital being under constant threat from closure and development, the future is unknown for all sadly.
For the last 3 years I have used Industrial Abseiling at my monitoring sites, they have provided a professional and excellent service, a good bunch of lads and lasses to work with as well, I can’t recommend them enough.
Hope everyone has a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.