I love a deadline, whether manufactured by me for the purposes of getting something done, or for real. In fact sometimes I just can’t do things without the urgency of a deadline. And it seems that putting up nest boxes is one of those tasks.
There have been two nest boxes sitting outside my house since May last year. One was a house sparrow terrace I’d been given as a birthday present at least a year previously, and the other was a nest box I’d made of cladding off-cuts designed to go in the eaves of the house.
I’d had a burst of nest box enthusiasm when a pied wagtail and a housesparrow had nested in the half-built house and we’d had to seal off their nesting cavities at the end of the breeding season (see blog). However the enthusiasm was followed by an extended period of lassitude. (I should say there has only been lassitude on the nest-box front, I’ve been being pretty busy getting things done in other avenues).
However things changed this morning. When I got up and wandered down to make coffee a wagtail was sitting right outside the window chit chit-ing at me. As if to say “Where’s my nest hole gone?”. I went outside and a jay flew over the garden carrying nesting material, a robin sang in a baby alder tree and the world seemed to be bright and new. “Where’s my nest box!!” it was wailing at me, “and you work for RSPB Scotland and you haven’t even followed your own advice you hypocrite”.
So the urgency was established. Nest boxes must go up. Yes they must. They must. But…. The summits were cloud free, and there was no wind… Glencoe skiing was calling. Nest boxes had to wait.
And that is why, as night fell, and I felt the ominous deadline of needing to get these boxes up before the birds started anew prospecting for nestboxes in the morning. I was up a ladder.
Now I have such a lovely home, I’d like it to be a welcoming place for wildlife too.