Sunday 31 March 2013

Spring forward

A early start in the garden today (too early thanks to the clocks going forward), but worth the effort as the urge to nest gathers pace amongst the feathered neighbours.

Tree Sparrow?
 A twig hanging from the Little Owl box is a sure sign that Jackdaws have claimed it, while a piece of straw hanging out of a nest box must mean that Tree Sparrows have moved in.

And then there was this Long-tailed Tit chasing a feather. Just before it start snowing!

And talking of tits, the farmer managed to take down the phone line on Friday, so no phone or Internet. Thankfully I can get online using my mobile phone, but it's painfully slow :(

Saturday 23 March 2013

Ready for Spring?

Holly enjoying the Spring weather
The winter, yes the one that simply won't go away, has been spent preparing for the season that once was found between winter and summer, spring! To think that last year it was shorts and t-shirt weather, and frogs were in a spawning frenzy.

No Wheatears, Wagtails or Ring Ouzels, just frost!
The main tasks have been hedge rejuvenation and planting, border de-nettling (nettles are good, just not everywhere!), nest box installation - gone a bit OTT with 10 boxes for Tree Sparrows, a Swallow cup, a couple of artificial House Martin nests, and an open-fronted box for Robins.

Tree Sparrows - large colony here, hopefully to get even larger now :)
Even snow doesn't stop prospective tenants
Lots of wild flower seed has been sown, and native bulbs planted.

The biggest job, however, has been putting a Green Roof on my container, to create a high rise wild flower meadow, and nesting opportunities for birds within.
On top of an 8 x 10 container.
Joisting and boarding Out
Green Roof Substrate
Waterproof liner and Geotex liner down and substrate going on top
Gravel drainage around the perimeter, and lashings of tea!

Job done!
The Green Roof involved joisting out the roof to carry the weight, boarding it out to create a floor, covering with a waterproof pond liner, filling with a substrate (topsoil is too nutrient rich!), and sowing with wild flower seed. The design and construction of this roof, using new materials, worked out at roughly £100 per square metre, inclusive labour. Get in contact if you want one as we have the know how and the expertise.

In between digging, cutting, planting, construction etc. I've added a couple of garden ticks, Short-eared Owl was nice hunting around Fenwick Pit, and Eurasion White-fronted Goose amongst Greylags heading to the flooded fields at East Holywell. And let's not forget the moths that have ventured out on the few nights when the mercury hasn't dip below zero......

Pale Brindle Beauty
March Moth
Dotted Border
Until Spring arrives I'm joining Dill and Holly!