Well birding with my camera for me over the last few days has been a bit sparse it's either been work,work, chasing up emails from my complaint over the fly-tipping I'd last posted about or helping my good friend Stuart erect a few nest boxes on the farm two boxes was a necessity and one was more in hope then anything but more on that in a bit.
Firstly the fly tipping, I am quite sad to say a fine for the company involved looks like a no "go-er" a warning was issued BUT as explained in the last post this would/was a long shot, the main aim was the removal of the rubbish, I wasn't hapy as it seems the only way for companies to learn not to do something is to hurt them were it hurts the most..their wallets, the company involved had the vast majority of the rubbish removed. Basically the company had been dumping/letting the plastic shrink wrap "fall" over it's fence. These strips of plastic shrink wrap were on average 6 foot in length and about a 1 foot in width and there was loads of the stuff some of it blowing in the tops of the trees. By Friday it looked a lot better with just small bits and bobs laying around I wouldn't say it was 100% better more like 90% better, however a trip to the site on Monday was MUCH better, trust me I shall be keeping an eye on the site very closely.
RULE 1: NEVER GIVE ME A HAMMER AND NAILS
Sadly it seems Stu has in my opinion (and it is just my opinion) has been given some daft advice. He was given a nest box for the Kestrel, I was hoping to see a box not too different to a Little Owl box perhaps just a little bigger, nope he had been given a big rectangle box on a tall post, I don't like these boxes 1)It screams "look at me" and draws attention from unscrupulous types (human kind) and 2) every time I see these boxes they always either a home to Jackdaws or if they have an owl/kestrel in it Corvids are just queueing up on the top for a free dinner...however taking the mantra of "something is better than nothing" it took about an hour to erect and a fair bit of cursing, mostly by me to be fair as we left the field and headed in the "golf-buggy" towards our next erection site (make your own jokes), I closed the gate and swore again, "bloody jackdaw already on it Stuart". I really believe it was a corvid that had caused damage to the kestrel's bill on this site. The second nest box was urgent, a Little Owl tree had fallen over and even though the Little Owl has found a new Ash tree we thought we'd put a box up just in case it fancied a safe shelter, Stu's farm has a big Jackdaw and Crow roost in one his copses and home to a pair of Buzzards.
It was now Stu's turn to scream expletives as I whacked his thumb full force with the hammer (remember rule 1) I tried not to laugh as Stu's a bit tasty with his fists, still I did have a hammer in my hands...fair fight I suppose, luckily Stu had chilled and the box was up in no time and we had a ciggy break, I could hear the Little Owl calling a faint "che" or perhaps "chi" like call it's favourite place was it's old fallen tree using it's old hole as place to launch "worming" attacks so I grabbed my camera yet I couldn't see it, using my camera as a pair of binoculars I was struggling to see it we gave it half an hour but we had one more box to go, the one that is more in hope then anything else, a Barn Owl box going into an old cattle shed currently there isn't a Barn Owl on site but as with all things "nature" you never know what can happen. We have a few more smaller nest boxes to go up, some House Martin "cups" and Swallow "cups" and boxes for Tits, funny thing Stu has an interest in the wildlife on his farm and he always moans his big flock of Yellowhammers are all but gone but some of the advice he's been given is I think is, well sorry but SHIT, I hope I'm wrong but results speak for themselves and despite Stu's best efforts some of the wildlife on his farm has just declined and shown no signs of bouncing back, take his beloved yellowhammers.