Hey hey, back to the Forgotten Land for a moment. I know my last blog regarding this area was a frustrating documentation of occurrences and I thank some of you who contacted me personally after reading it.
After the time down there with these people and the communication with those in charge in November, I took a break. I finally returned some where around New Year's for a look. East Ravine was cleaned now. Only 2 boxes remain. My Bluebird box and a nest box they donated to the area last Spring. All the other nest boxes were taken away for disposal. The 50+ t-bars were removed as well (not an easy task).
I then ventured over to West Hill and noticed they did not get that far. All the boxes were still standing, most barely as you can imagine.
I was not upset about this. I know the girls worked their asses off removing those t-bars from the ground in the east. It was a difficult time consuming chore. I'm sure it was a matter of them running out of time on this project and had other things to get on before the winter.
The weather has not been ideal to get over there and tackle the west. As March rapidly approaches, the thoughts of doing something drilled into my head daily. February 22 I put my head down and went to it. We had another thaw recently so all the snow melted away and it's been dry for a few days. It was -6 with the wind chill, not too bad for working outside. An hour and a half later I had taken down 27 nest boxes.
Some may remember this one below from an older post about the area. Deluxe edition with 2 entrances!
One reason I am not keen about nest boxes in public areas... people messing with them. One of the others had a whack of sumac rammed into it. Sure these are boxes falling apart, but it shows people do go off the path and someone idiot can muck around with them if he wants to.
A couple of these boxes are still rather solid but they have so many nails in them, one could never access them for cleaning.
I wasn't sure if I was going to get to them all. A couple times I thought I should stop, but then it was "just a couple more" I'd think to myself. I'm glad I stuck it out and finished this task.
I had a few dog walkers pass by me, giving me curious looks as to what I was doing. Only one stopped to say something which was about my neat piles of dilapidated nest boxes on the ground, which were well off path. His concern was his dog getting into those piles and possibly hurting himself. I replied about how if he kept his dog on leash, he would have nothing to worry about, because after all it was not an off leash area, there is one of those just down the road. That seemed to end the chat.
I left 4 boxes standing in the west section. Three are along one stretch where a pair of Tree Swallows nested successfully along with the failed Bluebird nest, plus one more box just because. The boxes are well separated with 30 or so feet from one to the next. The last box is further along where another pair of Tree Swallows had a successful nest. Actually this one I replaced with a box in better condition because the previous one was hanging by a thread. All the boxes are cleaned out and ready for the birds.
I may have added a few too many photos here but I really wanted to give a visual impact about how bad off this area was.
I fired off an email to these people about the latest progress. I've kept my promise about not setting up any more boxes. I still believe that leaving a few boxes up until they figure out their plan, if they have one, is a good idea. I will wait 2 weeks, and if no reply by then, I will start making some phone calls. At this point, I am fine if they want to abandon the project. No more waiting and wondering, no more feeling like I am answering to another boss. I'd like to add 4 more boxes; 2 in the east and 2 in the west. But I won't... for now.
This is going to be one very interesting Spring.