Christina Day, of Haverhill, had been trying to attract Swifts to some Zeist nest boxes installed under the eaves on the north east side of her house. She attracted Swifts alright, but they only paid attention to the fascia board on her south east-facing gable end. Thus she felt that she needed more nest boxes on this gable end. She bought 4 woodcrete boxes and contacted AfS to install them. The situation is ideal, as the gable end faces out over open land.
The roof trusses next to the inside wall, restricted what one could do with the woodcrete boxes, so we ended up making 2 plywood boxes.
Having established a reference point by drilling a single hole through the wall through the mortar, we then judiciously chose 4 suitable verticle bonds to make an entrance. This was achieved by using an angle grinder on the outside to slice a quarter brick off the ends of 2 adjacent bricks and then a masonry drill to remove the rest of the material.
This was quite hard work.
A hole from the outside through the middle of the vertical bond provided a reference point for using the 107mm diamond core to drill through the inner wall of soft concrete blocks.
This was the easiest part of the job as the core drill went through the wall like a knife through butter - quite therapeutic!
As in the case of Judith Wakelam's boxes, we used an insert fashioned out of a 30mm airbrick liner to make the entrances on the outside. A 4 inch plastic pipe, butted against the outside wall, bridged the cavity to the inside.
It was more than a full day's work for 2 of us, but we were pleased with the end result.
It would be so much easier if it was standard practice to build boxes like this in at the time that the house is built
The following pictures illustrate the result:
|View through the pipe to the outside entrance|
|4 entrances prior to fitting nest boxes|
|Bill Murrells finishing off the installation of 2 plywood and 2 woodcrete boxes.|
|Picture of a diamond core drill|