Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 11: A Box and a Trap

Snowed in, again

This time I was prepared. We'd devised many repurposing projects for the wood we pulled from the marsh: osprey platform, bird blind, boardwalk, firewood for the summer campers at Gateway, etc. I needed something quick, so today I pulled an 8' x 3' piece of plywood, the perfect size for a wood duck box. I downloaded the plans from Ducks Unlimited.

The inside of the front is scored to give the little wood ducklings a staircase to climb for their debut.

Pretend that hole is a perfect oval, and it's not a bad start to our recycling program. The side is hinged for cleaning out old nesting material every season. In a month we'll fill it with wood chips and see if any prospective tenants show.

For the past month I've attempted to spy on our marsh wildlife via camera trap. Failure was met with on an epic scale. Was it the rechargeable batteries? The cold? The device itself? No, it was the incessant breeze of Breezy Point, causing the camera to take a photo every time a blade of grass or shred of plastic bag twitched. In a matter of hours the 2 GB card would fill up and kill the camera. So last week I aimed the lens at the only part of the marsh that never moves: the wood pile. And voila...

A mountain lion! Okay, a feral cat, and just barely, but it's progress. The photo would have likely been completely blown out were it not for my duplication of Camera Trap Codger's homebrew infrared flash filter. Thanks Chris.

Hopefully I'll trap a native citizen next week.

High of 35, wind NE @ 8 MPH, 4.6 high tide @ 12:57 PM, water level unrecorded; ice has pulled yard stick out. All marsh frozen.
No birds seen in marsh. Birds seen in bay: black brant, American wigeon, cormorant, black duck.
Lots of marsh grass washed up on shore.

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