Good things continue to happen in Area One. Many of the old nest boxes are being replaced with a Gilwood Slot style box.
Close up image I borrowed from a Google search.
Some Peterson's Bluebird boxes will also be repaired or replaced.
Actual box in Area One.
Image borrowed from a Google search.
My friends who work on site in Area One are doing a lot this fall, taking pressure off me (us) come next Spring when the birds return. Big shout out to them all!
Now I can put a little more focus on The Forgotten Land.
I've had hopes the individual I have mentioned was going to come through with a few things we communicated about over the last 7 months. We even chatted in September about the fall plans. Here we are mid-November and nothing has happened. I attempted contact two more times the last couple weeks. Nothing.
I know the thought of some 80 rotted boxes is overwhelming but I've taken a number down myself. Most are so far gone now that no bird would even attempt to use them. Many are so deep in the growth too. I made the promise I would continue to plug away over the winter and take them down.
All I've asked for is a little help and hopefully a little donation. Help would be setting up 4 to 6 new boxes, the biggest part for me would be getting some t-bars into the ground. As I mentioned, I don't have a post pounder. If I did, my recent e-mails would not sound like I was near begging for help. After that, setting up new nest boxes I could do on my own, hoping they would donate them since they gave me 2 back in the Spring. I don't mind buying a couple but since this is public property, I don't want to invest too much myself. For all I know the city could come along one day and have other plans. There's always the risk of some douche bag coming through and knocking them all down for fun.
Yes, there are approximately 80 t-bars present in the area, varying lengths. The problem is taking them out of the ground. Whoever put them in, put them in deep. Some are bent. Some are too short for my liking. That one Bluebird nest box isn't more than 4 ft from the ground. I can't take them out by hand. I suppose going in with a shovel and digging a few out is an option. But then, it's a matter of getting them back into the ground in the new chosen spots. Really a quick and easy job for a few people with proper tools. For one guy, without the tools, far from easy.
I tried to sell the individual on the no need for such a ridiculous amount of boxes as 10 to 16 would do. I would monitor and care for them in the coming years. I promised to give them all my data too. They don't really need it for anything but someone might like to know what is going on in this dumpy little forgotten area, especially if Eastern Bluebirds returned and had better success in the coming years.
I don't know what's going on, why they have not gotten back to me. I won't bash them because that's unfair and unprofessional. It does prove to me about that old saying "if you want something done, you do it yourself".
I may have to try and enlist some help from others. Problem is my Bluebird friends don't live any where near here. I know a few guys I could ask, who would help me even though some aren't into birds and nature but still would because they are my friends, but without having a post pounder, there's no point.
I've thought about going public on social media to ask for help but I can't bring myself to that. It's partially my own problem, my mistrust or perhaps "my fear" is a better term. My fear is word getting around about Bluebirds nesting here. As I've said before, "no one gives a shit about the Tree Swallows, but them Bluebirds, now that's something else". There's enough known Bluebird nest areas outside of Toronto, but next to none in the city. The thought of not having to drive 90 minutes or more for these beautiful birds on nest is very appealing. I've been asked many times where these boxes are. Can't some birds just be without all eyes upon them? The boxes are not on private property so anyone can go, do what they want, get as close as they wish, spend as much time as they want without a frown or scolding from anyone. I'm not there more than I say which is once every 10 to 14 days during the season. My time near any box is less than 5 minutes. It's unfortunate I've seen so much crap from a handful of people that I'd rather suffer in silence and tackle this on my own if I can.
Honestly, with that last paragraph, I'd like to believe it's one idiot per 100 people... meaning the majority wouldn't mess with the birds in any way. All it takes is one person though. One to harass. Hell, even one to blab to another, who may blab to another, who may tell just one more.
The area wouldn't give much bang for the buck aside from the Bluebirds to most people. There are birds. I've seen a wide variety here especially during migration. My mental list is growing but it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. I will take one or two great bird sightings without a sea of people. That is why I often hit areas less traveled and finding new areas to explore away from the crowds. That is how I've really come upon this forgotten land.
I really want to have a few things ready for next Spring. I'm excited, not impatient.
So anyone reading this, be happy for the progress in Area One and wish me luck as I work on The Forgotten Land. If you think you have a suggestion with my plight, please comment.
Did you notice I've fixed my paragraph issue? That itself is progress too!
And just when you and I thought I was done this blog...
I was ready to hit publish but then I got thinking. Uh oh! I decided to trek to the Forgotten Land and see what I could do with a shovel and a pair of gloves. I managed to take out 2 t-bars. I re-located them. I ripped up the grass and dug down a couple inches. I managed to get the t-bars about 10 inches into the ground. They need a good pounding yet. But it is some progress.
I scoped out further along the stretch of green space, figured out 3 more spots where I would like boxes to be set up. I went at a few more t-bars and I was not successful in taking them out. I dug out the ground around them, over a foot deep, and still could not pull them out. Whoever put them in, really drove them down. I tried and started bending them, so I stopped. Last year I actually broke one trying to take it out; which almost sent me flying as it snapped. So I gave up. Now the search is on for a couple t-bars and I might just say "F-IT" and go buy them. Stay tuned.
Here's a few pictures from this morning.
Relocated post with old nest box moved. That box will be coming down, the hole is too small for Swallows and Bluebirds. Another old box in the background I may leave up for next Spring.
You can see a green nest box I set up earlier in the year off in the distance.
I swear every time I visit I find yet another box lost in the growth.
This box is very special to me. That blue band of tape should give you all the hint you need.
Another box deep in the growth. It's never been used.
Natural nest that a pair of Flickers set up shop in this year. I'm not sure how things went as another part of the tree came down during the nest period. I saw and heard Flickers in the area but not again in or near the cavity. Maybe next year?
Two Flickers this morning. Are they going to over winter?
A couple more boxes lost in the growth that spreads through this area.
I thought I heard a Cedar Waxwing with that "tse tse tse" call but it then turned into a short song. To my surprise it was a Brown Creeper. November 17th is getting pretty late in the season although I have seen the odd one over winter in our area.
Even more surprising was the Creeper was followed by 4 more Creepers. They moved from one tree to another, one by one. And a couple of them were singing. It was a great end to my outing this morning.
I heard a couple Gold Finches fly over, some Chickadees and a Cardinal. I also saw these Mallards sipping from the run off.
For an area that looks like it wouldn't be home to anything, I sure have found quite a list of birds to date.
Back in due time with another update.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Area One... 13 nests and 65 fledged. The Forgotten Land... 3 nests and 16 fledged. For those who suck at math, that's 16 nests and 81 fledged Tree Swallows. I'd say...
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Hello everyone! I finally made it out to the last nest box I had to check in Area One. Blame it on my recovery, then getting back into a normal life with work, and then the heat wave we recently endured added to the delay. 40 celcius humidex and working just destroy me. Anyway, here we go...
Thursday, August 3, 2017
So, as I recover from my injury, I had a friend of mine check the last 2 nest boxes for me. He was able to check the one and happy to report it was empty. Everyone fledged. Now we have one to go. A helpful article can be viewed here. Giant Hogweed. I borrowed this image from a Google search to give you an idea why it is called "Giant Hogweed". Riverwood Park, in Mississauga. It was massive! I recall they were working on a plan to remove the plant but am not sure if they did. There was a large patch of it just off one of the paths near the river north of Burnhamthorpe. Might as well add a little visual scare factor for impact. And it can harm animals too.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I checked my last box in the Forgotten Land late last week. This was the view I had every visit prior but I knew by this visit, the young birds would have fledged. I was excited to add these results to my growing final list.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
A couple days ago I went through Area One again. It started off quite cloudy with sporadic drizzle but by the time I got moving about the grounds the sun came out, it turned hot stank humid and fast. It reminded me of every walk I did in 2016 as that was one of the hottest summers I can recall in my entire life. Anyway... today I had some company, which was nice for a change. My company was my wife Angie. She mostly "chased" butterflies and dragonflies throughout, and took a couple pics of me out there.