Discovery Sunday at RSPB Dove Stone reservoir promised to be a great day but the British weather had other plans. We set off into a spring like morning and were joined by a few intrepid early risers to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box. But the rain and wind slowly crept across the hills, hiding the peregrines on Dove Stone Quarry and forcing us to shelter under our hastily erected gazebo. Then the snow set in. By lunchtime we realised our gazebo wasn’t built for the suddenly arctic conditions and decided we’d better call it a day and make a swift exit before we froze.
Well done to the brave few who joined us to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box and we hope to return for a full day in Summer. Meanwhile how’s about abirdigloo for the resident penguins?
Our second visit to the brilliant Barrier Breakers and it was time to get painting, once we’d finished construction of the nest boxes that is…
Building the roofs for the diamond shaped boxes was made easier by using a specially constructed roof jig to hold the pieces at the required 90degrees whilst screwing them together and once the final pieces of the boxes were fixed and all the roofs completed painting began.
Base coats where swiftly applied in a multitude of colours and then planning for details and top coats was made whilst the paint dried. Everyone enjoyed choosing colours and planning the look of their nest boxes; Nathan and (Hi) Lee are working in collaboration to produce rival Man Utd & Man City bird boxes so painted a base coat of green to be detailed as a football pitch next week. Leah also chose a green base for her Rugby Team theme, Kyle and Michael chose light blue as a sky effect and Sophie went for a lovely rich lion golden brown.
We were also thrilled to welcome new Barrier Breaker Katie to the project and she proved a dab hand at bird box making and in no time had her nest box ready for her beautiful love birds theme design.
Some of the group will be cutting out 3D elements to enhance their designs so there was also scroll saw and band saw training to take part in! Kash took over as official group photographer for the night and took some great pictures (as well as a few selfies!).
All in all it was a very busy session but once again the group all worked together brilliantly (especially Nathan and Lewis who took on wandering assistants roles and helped everyone finish their making) and achieved a tremendous amount and had a great and really creative time.
Holly’s Art Birdbox will take the form of a fantasy castle guarded by a fearsome dragon carved in low relief.
My birdbox design is inspired by my love of reptiles, which leads to dragons, causing my design. My initial plan was to have a generic-looking birdbox with a dragon curled around it, as if it was trying to get inside, I upgraded this to a Castle to fit with a stereotypical dragon theme and worked from there.
I started by making my maquette, which is slightly different to my final design, which has dividers to make the inner area smaller so it would be easier to warm up and take less materials to pad out.
The DSYR are a group of young people who are involved with environmental and educational projects at Dovestone Reservoir and previously assisted with the installation of the Brash Hedgehog Bug Abode created for the RSPB as part of the nature trail at Ashway Gap.
For the abirdabode project the DSYR will create individual Art Birdboxes inspired by their favourite artist or art-form – we look forward to seeing what the come up with!