After last week’s setback… (the tree fell down!), today was spend erecting the box onto the outside of the barn where the kestrel is roosting. I had considered this spot, but the problem was the lack of somewhere for the chicks to fledge out on to…. I think we have overcome that problem.
It has been a beautiful day and mounting the kestrel box onto the barn seemed, at first, a much easier task than attempting to get it into the tree…. even so, it has taken us most of the day. The great advantage of this spot, though, is that I can wire it back to the office for a live stream! (When I get a cable long enough that is!)
I wanted the box mounted on the outside of the barn, facing down the hill back toawrds my house. It is a wonderful, elevated position, with a fantastic view!
This is the view from the ground, up at the base of the barn… you can just see the white of my house on the left hand side.
First the wooden brackets had to be bolted onto the barn. Luckily, there is a horizontal beam that runs on the inside of the barn at about the right height and this provided us with a strong enough supporting structure. These kestrel boxes from Riverside Woodcraft are extremely sturdy and well made, but pretty heavy!
I wish I could have got someone else to take a picture of Martin and I then attempting to get the box up to this height , out over the brackets and into place…. the ladders at that height are pretty wobbly and the box, being so heavy was difficult to manoeuver it into place. We were relieved when we managed to slide it up on top and the brackets took the weight. Using small metal corner brackets, the box was secured into place.
I then ran the cable from the camera, down the side of the barn and through the hedge on the right hand side, back into my garden. I will then need to get an extension, so I can wire this nest box camera back to my office. The camera is an Owl & Hawk & Wildlife Camera from HandyKam.
The view from the nest box was amazing!…. if I was a kestrel, I would nest there!
You can just see the fallen tree at the bottom of the garden and the smoke rising from the farmer’s bonfire as he chops up the wood and burns the debris!
When I spoke to Nigel Lewis of the Hawk & Owl Trust a couple of weeks ago, he said it is important to have a branch that the fledgling kestrels can come out on to. This was more of a challenge! Using a long, dead branch, we ran one end of it into the trees in the hedgerow and then took the wooden perch off of the nest box. We then attempted to attach the other end of the branch onto the front of the nest box. This was pretty difficult. After much cursing, we finally succeeded….. The kestrels would now have somewhere to fledge out onto and a route in to the trees in the hedgerow! Result!
In the week, I will attempt to run the cable back into my office and will be able to get this camera up on my live stream. We may be a little too late to attract the kestrels this year… possibly not, but I reckon something will go in there.