Keppel Croft is an ideal place for bird watching. Many species have been observed in our gardens. If you wander up the Nature Trail to Highview or Painter's Point you are likely to see even more birds in the fields and at the edge of the bush.
To make your bird watching experience more of a pleasure, Bill planned a sheltered bench to be situated beside a stream at the edge of the bush. This project was completed at the close of the 2022 season with the help of some of our volunteering Green Thumbers.
Our neighbour, Conny, was replacing her cottage deck. The timber was removed and repurposed at Keppel Croft by Trevor and Bill. Calculations and designs came to reality in the outdoor workshop that we had established at the beginning of Covid.
The walls of the shelter were built in the outdoor workshop, then hauled up behind the ride-on mower and installed on the site. That's how we moved the long bench to the site as well.
Bill's collection of roofing steel ends was just enough to provide a roof. The three colours of roofing ends look quite intentional! The windows came from Bill's collection in the barn. The shelter is another of Bill's recycling efforts!
After considerable discussion and laughter about colour choices Bill mixed up a mint green which Susan and Bob applied to the interior on a fine autumn day. The outer walls will be left to weather.
Grace and Lis applied their painting skills to the bench and the two little stools Trevor built. Four of us tested the capacity of the bench. It is sturdy and adequate! The stools can be used as extra seats or as wee tables.
Bill explained to a couple of garden visitors that he was going to hunt for a pair of secondhand binoculars to add to the shelter. No need for that! Those visitors donated their extra pair later in the week!
A waterproof box contains the binoculars, bird identification books and a birders' log. Please add your sightings to that list.
The three-sided shelter opens on to the stream with its little waterfall at the edge of the hardwood bush.
The Nature Trail and a short bridge give you access to the shelter. Bill has plans for planting some berry bushes in the area to attract more birds.
The seasonal stream is easily accessible from the trail if you are interested in looking for local aquatic insect and amphibian life.
You are welcome to use the Nature Trail in winter for snow shoeing and cross country skiing. During warmer months you might bring a picnic to enjoy at Painter's Point.
Local wildlife enjoys the convenience of the Nature Trail in winter as well as in summer. This winter we have seen foot prints of deer, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes, fishers, rabbits, voles, a porcupine and even an opossum!
We have had seasonal tenants build a nest in the Birders' Shelter. A pair of phoebes created a beautiful little nest on the south side of the shelter. It is likely that they will return to the same nesting site and refurbish it for a new season! We hope to welcome them back in the spring.