Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Starling Invasion

Good morning,

Today has already been fairly eventful; while I was watching BBC News 24, it came to pass that a significant amount of fluttering was heard from the direction of the chimney, and little bits of debris were falling down. I popped upstairs to ask Ed if he was doing anything with the chimney. He was not. Apprehensively I returned to further flapping and debris, followed by the emergence of a unnecessarily pointy-looking beak attached to a brown and black mottled head, which also bore two beady little eyes. I'm not really good with animals; they all have the capacity to make me pretty nervous, so I enlisted Ed to poke his head near the sharply-beak'ed thing and he said that it looked like there was a board up there, which was inhibiting his egress.

Not wishing to put together any half-baked plans for shifting the blighter without consulting some kind of authority, I gave the RSPCA a call, after finding the line for the RSPB engaged. Needless to say, there wasn't a relevant option on the automated service, but the lady I spoke to didn't seem to mind that I wasn't phoning about a bird of prey. To cut a long story short, I was told that I'd have to try and remove the board to let him out, also that they'd phone back in about half an hour to see how I was getting on. Damn - I was hoping that there would be people to do these things, rather than muggins.

I gathered a hammer, screwdriver, oven gloves and various long pointy-things, screwed my courage to the sticking-place and tried to get one of the pointy things to make contact with the aforesaid board. There followed a period of cautiously advanced kitchen utensils followed by hastily retreating kitchen utensils at the merest suggestion of a flap. Mercifully I found that the top of the fireplace pulled out, so I did that, and subsequently ran away like a big chicken, only he seemed to have buggered off as there was no movement.

Luke and the girls were standing outside in their best bird-crap resistant garb, ostensibly to act as a kind of body of avian doormen, to intimidate said bird into exiting stage-right through the main door. When our recent acquaintance did decide to try the bottom of the chimney again, he naturally got stuck behind the curtains, and flapped dumbly at the invisible windows behind. Once again, my decisive come-on-you-big-girls-blouse-get-a-grip approach was called for as I persuaded our dumb chum towards one of the two conveniently open windows, from which he exited, leaving only a single piece of crap as a parting gesture.

I think I earned my cup of tea.