Oh the joy of the Friday night commute. The plane was late as usual, and when we arrived we were parked on a remote stand because, according to the air steward, the airport wasn’t expecting us (Eh????). And then the lovely people at Edinburgh airport have decided, in their infinite wisdom, that buses picking up passengers from remote stands should drive round to the entrance that is the furthest possible distance from the arrivals hall…..
And then I got stuck behind a tractor. On the A93, at 11.30 at night. Wtf??
So when I finally crawled into my bed at well past midnight I had no plans to get up at the crack of dawn in the morning.
Needless to say, I wasn’t best impressed when I was woken up at 6.30am by what sounded like an army marching through the loft. And then a bird flew out of the bathroom, through the bedroom and into the snug – where it proceeded to headbutt the glass roof, chirping madly. Finally deciding it couldn’t escape through the glass, it gave up and presumably flew down into the living room. There was an almighty bang, and then silence.
Well how’s that for an alarm clock? I contemplated just going back to sleep again, but since I was awake and the sun was streaming in every window, that seemed a bit pointless. So I got up. At half past six on a Saturday morning. There should be a law against it.
When I got downstairs, I discovered what the ‘bang’ had been. Mr Chirpy had seen the daylight through the large windows in the living room and had made his bid for freedom. Full pelt into the glass. I’m not sure whether he died of shock or a broken neck….
Well that’s a nice thing to have to deal with before breakfast! I disposed of him outside and went back in for a cup of tea.
Since there weren’t any open windows or doors, he must have got into the loft and found a way into the house from there. Well at least that decided on the job for the day – time to seal up any bird-sized holes in the building.
There were two obvious places he could have got in:
Where I installed the flue for the woodburner, there is a gaping great hole at the point the flue goes into the loft.
It’s been on my to-do list for a while; it kind of defeats the object of lighting the stove to get all cosy and warm if you’re sitting under an arctic draft coming in from the loft. And clearly it’s an invitation to any wildlife that takes up residence in the loft to come in and explore.
It’s not actually that hard to fix. The lovely chaps at Stovefitter’s Warehouse do make a finishing plate that fits around the flue and just screws into the wall. A tricky little bit of ladder work, and some fire-rated expanding foam, and job’s done…
It’s a bit of a shame that the foam is fluorescent pink, but hey, nothing that a black marker pen won’t hide….
Option two for unwanted bird intrusions is through a hole into the loft just above the bath upstairs.
It’s been there forever – one of those fiddly little finishing off jobs that I have done my best to ignore. But since it appears to be another entrance for birds in the house, I need to get it sorted. Again it’s not a difficult fix; a couple of bits of wood wedged into place and a small piece of plasterboard. Job done!
So that should see end to birds in the house…
Well at least until 6.30 on Sunday morning, when I was once again woken by a bird bashing itself silly against the glass roof, chirping loudly and leaving its obvious signs of panic on the floor. Clearly the non-return of Mr Chirpy the previous day had caused concern amongst his relatives and a search party had been sent out. But since I thought I’d blocked up all the holes, I had no idea how it had got into the house.
Not succeeding in getting through the glass roof, this one followed Mr Chirpy and flew straight at the living room windows. Fortunately it didn’t manage to kill itself; when I got downstairs it was fluttering feebly on the floor and looking rather stunned.
I let it out the back door, where it flew up to the roof of the pump house and sat there glaring balefully at me like it was all my fault. Really??? How do birds manage to migrate half way round the planet and back again, when they can’t even find their way out of my loft and back?
This time I did go back bed, with a cup of tea and a good book. 6.30 in the morning on a Sunday shouldn’t exist for anyone.
But 10 minutes later there was a mad fluttering, tweeting and cheeping in the corner of the music room and a bird dropped out of the ceiling and fell to the floor.
I’m now starting to feel like I’m in a Hitchcock film. I think this might have been the same bird I’d just released, come back for a second look and got lost again. They really are stupid creatures. But at least I’ve discovered the secret entrance.
When we came up at Christmas to a broken down heatpump and a freezing cold house, I cut up an old duvet and went round the house on a mission to block any unwanted draughts. Including the Siberian Bora wind that was blowing down from above the music room window. This, it seems, is where the birds have found an entrance to the house. I suspect they’ve been nicking bits of duvet for nesting material and have created a hole.
So today’s job is to find a more permanent solution than half an old duvet shoved up with a broom….
Whilst it is mostly hidden by the overhang from the roof, anything I put up there will be visible against the glass. So I need to find a solution that looks vaguely decent from the outside.
My cunning plan is a long strip of varnished wood, attached to battens so I can screw it into the window frame, stuff it full of insulation to keep out the draughts and fix a piece of plasterboard to the bottom.
That should put an end to those unwanted early morning wake up calls.