Friday, June 04, 2010

Noises in the log-burner

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"Dad! There are some funny noises coming from the logburner!"

"Don't you mean funny smells? Has someone put something plastic in it again?"

"No, it's not lit. I think there might be some kind of creature inside..."

I don't know where in the Family Handbook it says Husbands/Dads are responsible for investigating any unknown noises, but I'm assured there's an entire chapter devoted to it.

Quite uncertain as to what I might find in there, I very carefully opened the door.

Initial suggestions it might be a dove that had coated itself in soot from the chimney on the way down, were neither accurate nor helpful. It turned out to be a full-grown jackdaw. And as jackdaws are considerably larger than starlings, I didn’t feel we could rely on the previously discovered method for removing birds from the house - see Bird in the Living Room

It took quite a long time to figure out a solution that wouldn’t involve getting pecked, shat on or a broken window. Eventually I carefully re-opened the door and put a large plastic bowl over the front, not really convinced this was going to work. But after stabbing it a couple of times with its beak, the jackdaw actually climbed into it and Rogan quickly slid a large sheet of card between the bowl and the log-burner. I was then able to take the whole thing out into the garden and the bird flew away as soon as I removed the card, apparently none the worse for its ordeal.

Someone else can clean the crap out of the fireplace though...
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20 comments:

Jacqui said...

Love this!

Ponita in Real Life said...

We don't have jackdaws here in Canada. They are handsome birds, especially with their white eyes. Very striking.

I can imagine a good pecking would come of trying to handle a jackdaw ensconced in your log burner. I've only had to deal with a sparrow in my clothes dryer... it was a race between me and the cat to see who got it first! Would it be free or would it be lunch???

It got to be free. ;-)

Carole said...

As usual, you impress me with your skill set. What is it you don't do? Oh yeah, I remember--clean up crap.

Chocolatesa said...

Haha! I'm glad you got it out of there easily, and escaped the clean-up job as well :P

Once when I was 12 we had bats that came in through the chimney and my mother was terrified. I love critters though so once they had stopped fluttering around and settled in various places around the house I went around with a pair of work gloves gently plucking them from the rafters and letting them loose outside. Don't ask me to do the same with spiders though! lol.

hope said...

Yes, I'm sure it follows the Chapter on "Hey Dad, why is the Car making that funny noise?" This has a subsection entitled, "And kids, please don't tell Mom about the new 4 letter words you learned while Dad fixed the car." :)

I'm more familiar with Chimney Swifts, personally. :) At least once each Spring, one makes it's way past the hole in the chimney wall the previous owner covered with a metal plate when remodeling the kitchen.

And yes, Hubby usually handles it, outdoorsman that he is. I have, however, had to learn how to carefully apply a towel over said quivering bird, grasp quickly yet gently, then out the backdoor to freedom.

Yeah, I know it's a man's job. But my Dad taught me. ;)

Jasmine said...

Good job!

Pat said...

I nearly repeated my milkman and towel story.
If you lived closer our wooded bit is full of loggy bits left as detritus by the tree loppers. Shame.

savannah said...

as super nana said one evening as she sat out on the back open porch and a few impertinent bugs attacked her: it is possible to have too much nature in one's life, mama!

well done, gentlemen on removing the wild life!
xoxoxoxo

Charlie said...

All of the chimneys in our neighborhood have a mesh screen to keep the creatures from falling in, as well as for spark suppression. We have a woodpecker, however, who pecks at the metal flashing to show his displeasure at not being allowed indoors.

What I'm wondering is how Ponita got a sparrow in her clothes dryer.

erika said...

Oh funny! I pictured you in jackdaw catching mode and it made me smile. Big.

Ponita in Real Life said...

@Charlie: no mesh over the dryer vent. Remedied that after the sparrow incident.

Kim Ayres said...

Jacqui - :)

Pointa - I was going to ask how on earth a sparrow got in your dryer, but I see Charlie beat me to it and you answered it - so thanks to both of you :)

Carole - my skill set is surprisingly small, it's just it happens to include problem solving as one of the prime ones. What this means is most of my life is just "winging it"

Chocolatesa - you can't even mention bats in this house without a look of stark panic crossing my wife's face. "Mice with wings" is how she sees them - pretty much her worst nightmare

Hope - Pat was told about the towel method by a milkman, when she was wearing nothing but a towel...

Jasmine - thank you :)

Pat - we really should have been neighbours. At least we found each other via blogging :)

Savannah - my mother was a city girl and never coped particularly well with nature and the countryside. "I can deal with muggers," she would say, "but wildlife freaks me out"

Charlie - I've noticed on your continent everyone wisely seems to have mesh covers over their doors and windows to keep the bugs out too, which always seemed like a damn good idea to me and I still have no idea why the Scots haven't adopted it given the prevalence of mosquitoes and midges in the summer.

Erika - if I've put a smile on your face then it warms my heart :)

Pointa - thank you for coming back to answer that question :)

Jayne Martin said...

That's the same method I use for removing spiders, only I don't wait for them to crawl in. I pop a plastic container over them, slip cardboard underneath and then march them outside and set them free.

I will now and forever refer to my fireplace as a "logburner."

Hindsfeet said...

Love your storytelling, Kim...just love it.........

: )

Z said...

Hang on, how come the job of removing birds from chimneys always falls to me then? Not to mention spiders from bath and bees from greenhouse.

*goes away to re-read sex equality handbook*

Kim Ayres said...

Jayne - I use the same method for spiders too. The problem was I couldn't get inside the logburner to get behind the jackdaw, so I had to hope it would hop into the bowl on its own accord

Hindsfeet - thank you :)

Z - sounds to me like someone hid the handbook from you too...

Midnitefyrfly said...

I hate dealing with animals trapped where they don't belong. If I were single I would probably have to call for help. Glad you got it out without getting pecked!

Kim Ayres said...

Midnitefyrfly - not exactly vast amounts of fun - but at least I got a blog post out of it :)

Jonathan Chant said...

Ah yes, unwritten rules for father's: I'd like to know why cat vomit always gets reserved for me to clear up.

Kim Ayres said...

Jonathan - it's one of the reasons we don't have pets...