|Close up of dummy brick front|
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Swift boxes in a garage gable end
Back in 2009, we were contacted by Jacky Gulliver from Thornham in Norfolk for advice in putting Swift boxes into a garage she was having built - this is her story so far. It is another example of doing something aesthetically very pleasing.
is made from 7mm ply and each is 325 mm long x 205 mm high x 230mm deep.
The box has a hinged back for cleaning etc.
The front of each box has a piece cut out. This is the same size as a brick face plus mortar lines and was used as the dummy brick front.
THE DUMMY BRICK FRONT
The entrance hole, 75mm wide x 30mm high, is positioned to one side of the front and cut about 10mm above the floor line.
To make it look like a brick we just used PVA glue and sprinkled brick dust and bits on it. Better would be to do the whole Blue Peter thing as you suggested, and give the front a brick colour base coat first. If the edges are left they can be painted like mortar lines.
In one of the lower boxes we have a small cd player and use the remote to turn it on and off. A bird tried to get in there so we have made that entrance hole inaccessible.
We played the cd as much as possible and certainly whenever we saw Swifts about. In 2010 birds occasionally looked in and in 2011 there seemed to be more activity and we wondered if they would nest but there was still a lot of work going on here.
In 2012 there was no disturbance near the garage and we were able spend time watching. Sitting on the front drive, leaning back, feet up, staring with binns at the garage wall can be quite a talking point for neighbours!
Can't tell you how excited we were when we realized birds were actually going in and out. They go so quickly - if we blinked we'd miss them!
The whole point of the project was of course to help Swifts - how awful to fly all the way back from Africa only to find your home gone - re roofed, building knocked down etc. BUT we have had so much enjoyment watching for them and what a thrill when a bird interrupts its aerial acrobatics to look in our box - we can't wait to see what happens this year!