Those still following the cams caught a surprise visit from Spirit this morning, Sunday, August 1, 2010. While no band codes confirmed the sighting, it is very probable this was Spirit, as another juvenile passing through the area would have likely been chased out of town by Trooper and Durand. Additionally, this bird popped in and out of the nestbox with distinct familiarity. Great to see she is doing well!
I'm hoping to run maintenance on the nestbox in the next week or two. The gravel will be changed out with new, clean stone. The inside of the box will receive a fresh coat of paint and the camera lens will be cleaned. The two eggs that did not hatch (if still present) will be retrieved and examined to see if they were fertile or not.
I will also look at the back corner behind the nestbox to come up with ideas to lighten that area up so as to help alleviate the extreme dark conditions experienced during late day viewing. The problem of the corner going so dark occurs because bright light is coming into the camera when the sun is in the western sky in the afternoon. That makes the camera want to adjust for extreme light conditions. But, at the same time the corner (by the nature of the color of the walls and shadow at that time of day) is very dark, which makes the camera want to adjust to dark conditions. Between the two extremes, the afternoon sun ultimately wins and the cam's iris adjusts for the light which makes that dark corner even darker. Unfortunately, building management won't let us paint the walls (can't say I blame them!) so perhaps a possible solution will be to install light colored panels to help brighten up that corner to make late day viewing better. So another goal of the trip is to brainstorm.
The video feed to the cams will be temporarily disabled while we are accessing the ledge for the work.