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Baking blackbirds

I finally pried myself from bed this morning when I heard a loud squawk coming, every few minutes, from somewhere near by. By that moment, it had paused. No further sound heard, I went on with the beginnings of morning. C. settled down to work in his office - and it shortly became quite clear what the source of the squawking was. There was a bird caught in the chimney.

Our house has many chimneys, installed long before the central heating was. One, lined, is attached to a wood-burning stove. Another is well-capped. The other two are not, but will be soon. One of those, hooded but uncapped, leads to what was originally a coal-burning fireplace in C.'s office, unused for years. That's where the bird was.

So first, we emptied out scads of things from the room until there was little left, draping the computer in a large dropcloth. Then, C. took off the flue-cover and a mountain of dust and dirt tumbled out. We held our breaths, but no bird. Eventually - it seemed the best approach - I went outside to watch the window to the office, to see if and when the bird flew away. (We really, really hoped it was up to flying.)

It took what felt like ages. After a while, I saw a flutter of black wings from a blackbird within, but it then went and hid among the folds of the dropcloth. C - after quite a while more - successfully scared it forth. It flew!

I went upstairs to cheer with C - when there was another squawk. There was another bird trapped in the chimney.

I think this one took even longer. It was really failing to come out. Pest removal places wouldn't deal with birds in chimneys. The internet suggested shining a flashlight up the chimney, so the bird would know which way to go.

And indeed, shortly after a flashlight was deployed, the bird came forth, flying much more promptly out the window.

We're guessing they were trying to nest in the chimney. In any event, it's the first time we've had birds stuck in our chimney. The joys of home ownership? In any event, as a result of the mess, C has as clean an office as he has had in years.

And that is how we now come to have the correct number of birds stuck in our chimney.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
gylfinir
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
Two jackdaws have fallen down my chimney. Mercifully, it opens up into an open fireplace, so they both just dropped down into the front room and then it was a case of getting them both out of the house (using a towel). Well, the first one was that easy. The first one fell down and scootched himself against the window in the kitchen. Which is in a recess, so not easily or obviously seen. He must have been sitting there for some time as I'd come home from work and had a cup of tea before I noticed him. Another towel, and another - slightly more complicated - rescue.

And then today, I had to retrieve a distressed fledgling chaffinch that whad got caught in the greenhouse.

Hooray for rescuing your two!
owlfish
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I did wonder how rare it was to have two (as opposed to one) birds stuck in ones' chimney. It was quite unexpected!

Fortunately, this was a fairly small room, we could open the window wide, and after that, it was a matter of getting them to get themselves unstuck enough they could come out themselves.

It wasn't the first bird-event of the week either - but the first was a thoroughly dead little bird which we suspect of having flown into a window.
daisho
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
Glad there was a happy ending, both in terms of bird liberty and nice shiny office. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )