Day 5 of 30 Days Wild and we are very busy in the house today. We had plans to go on a Ranger led walk later and observe some bird ringing but the weather forecast looks dire and we most likely will not go. I took a couple of minutes out to install a sound recorder app on my phone and my wild moment today comes to you via my front porch.
We have an Orkney porch. It might sound weird to you,but it is apparently quite ordinary up here to have the house guttering run through the porch. How do I explain? It’s a little like having the rail-road running through the middle of the house! Imagine a house front with normal roof drainage arrangement. Now build a porch on the front but do not bother to reroute the gutter – just leave holes for it to pass through the walls of the porch.
With me so far?
At some point a previous owner has insulated and boarded the ceiling of the porch. The guttering that runs through is now hidden from view in order to keep the draughts out. The draught thing kind of works and kind of does not.
Anyway – the birds do love it.We try our best to keep them out but they think it is a wonderful place in which to bring up a family – which it is, in a good year. Unfortunately, we are blessed in Orkney with wetter-than-average spring weather. Sometimes the nests become waterlogged and the fledglings perish from the cold. Sometimes they drown. This is why we attempt to prevent the establishment of the nests in the first place. Somebody has to go in and clear the gutter before winter (through a special trapdoor) and thereby deal with the aftermath. It can be sad indeed.
This years nestlings are still with us but today’s forecast does not bode well for them. I went into the porch at breakfast time and recorded the noise that they make. It has diminished recently and I believe that there are fewer babies now than there were last week.
Starling image (c) RSPB
Starlings in my porch roof space
The phone seems to have introduced some additional noise. I’ll re-record later if I can