It's for the birds!

Ahh, spring is in the air.
 I can tell that because the birds are nesting at the marina. Little starlings and purple martins and some larger black birds.
The starlings and purple martins took an instant liking to the hole at the end of my boom. I immediately removed their pitiful attempt at building a condo in there and sealed it closed with plastic wrap. Problem solved.
Three days ago, I was awakened by pine needles fluttering down through he rear overhead hatch. Bummer. I went topside to see that they had figured out that my sail cover was open enough to climb inside and had started building a nest on my sail. Eviction was swift. I went below and returned with some clips to hold the cover closed. It hasn't worked as well as I thought it would.
The starlings moved to the front of the main, near the mast. This is higher up. For me to reach it involves climbing some steps we have there, and then onto the winches, hanging on to the mast as I go. Then I have to remove one arm from the death grip on the mast and reach inside to clear out the nest. It must be done however, or the little Bastards darlings will lay eggs in the mainsail. This would be a disaster of the Nth degree, since we plan to go sailing this weekend. Having those broken eggs frying on the deck might raise my emotional ire a few points. I like birds, but not when their future offspring are superglueing their remains to my boat deck.
 I have had to remain vigilant; these little guys (guess I should say gals) have been creating mess for me to run around and clean out on about an every two hours schedule. They have found a way into the rear of the mainsail cover now as well, the creative little devils.
Tuesday we went to Washington, a four hour trip. I went to clean the nests out as soon as we returned. Two eggs fell out onto the deck. Now my husband thinks I'm a baby bird murderer.
 I ran for the hose to get rid of the evidence mess. I had the windows open on the boat. Now I am aware that all water seeks the interior of my boat.That was kind of a bonus I didn't much appreciate.
I am going to wrap the plastic wrap around the rear of the sail cover today and see if I can at least have one "off-limits" area that works. This morning I woke to the usual falling of the pine needles on the overhead hatch. I went up and evicted the nest. This bird didn't get the memo that I was coming. I saw the sail cover fluttering madly. The culprit was still inside! I lightly patted the cover to see which way she would exit. This could be insight for how and where to encapsulate the cover against future attacks. It squeezed through between two of the clips I had put up. I couldn't fit a piece of paper between those clips.
 Now I knew that these creatures would stop at nothing to provide their offspring with the best in nesting accommodations. It's my boat, so they declared war first. Gosh I hope the plastic wrap works. The only other thing I can think of involves removing the main for nesting season.

1 comment:

S/V Iron Jack said...

Al and MJ,

If you were trying to save on food cost you could always have boat fresh little bitty eggs on little bitty biscuits for breakfast every morning if you went out and gathered up your sail eggs. hehehe

Let all of us know how the IO-41 sails with a new bottom job and reset mast.