Getting a jackdaw out of the chimney.
Each spring a pair try to nest on top of the chimney stack, and on this occasion one fell right down the chimney. I was up early this morning and heard some squawking that sounded like a scrap coming down the chimney, then suddenly there was a lot more noise, the sound of things falling down onto the register plate and then the sound of flapping around.
I had expected to find the bird as soon as I removed the plate, but there was no sign - only lots of dirt & soot. We opened the windows and closed both doors in the hope it would come down during breakfast, but there was no sign. I got a torch and peered up, to see it clinging to a ledge a couple of feet up. However my intrusion upset it enough that it became agitated, started flapping and then fell off, down into the fire place. I managed to trap it with a dustpan that I'd used to clear up a bit, then grabbed and held it firmly so Chris could see the source of our trouble.
Let me tell you - they are smaller than you'd expect, but with a vicious-looking beak close up and an eye that's as mad as a herring with a chainsaw.
It was still a bit wriggly in my hands, so I took it to the window and launched it into the air. It flapped away sulkily, not really gaining height and showing more anger than gratitude - as if birds are really capable of either emotion in a human sense. Never the less, it was lucky to be alive - I can't say it wasn't tempting to just leave it there and let the chimney sweep sort things out in a couple of years time.
Now my hands smell of sooty tar, but at least I know the chimney is clear.
Wonder what the wildlife will do for us tomorrow?