Saturday, May 03, 2008

Inquisitive birds

I think it s hormonal, the birds are very active at the moment, it is spring. Not only do they fly into glass doors like some kamikaze lunatics, some of them seem to be extra adventurous, in particular the Great Tits. The other morning I was having my breakfast porridge when I heard some unusual sounds from the kitchen. I went out but could not see anything that could have caused the unfamiliar sound. A little later I heard it from the hall and got up again to investigate. To my astonishment I saw a bird flying around in the hall, a Great Tit was desperately trying to find a way out. He hit the little side window, knocked something down, continued to almost hover, getting nowhere. I then opened the door, but he did not accept the invitation. Next I went into the lounge with the bird following me; he then flew into the front windows a couple of times while I made my way to the dining room to open the patio door. Zoooom! He sped past me like a bullet on his way out to freedom.

How did he get into the house in the first place? I wondered. He must have flown in through the gap at the top of some tilted window on his quest for food, female or something else he fancied. Maybe he had spotted this fellow sitting on top of my 87-year-old clock, looking for company?

(Christmas tree decoration from my grandparents)

I was thinking about how he had had the guts to fly in through such an unknown, narrow space like a tilted window, not as wide as his own wingspan actually. I believe I got the answer later that day when I saw some Great Tit(s) disappearing under a bush in the corner of our garden, the angle between our house and the garden wall to the neighbours. There is a metal grid on top of a well that lets in light and air through a cellar window.

They disappeared down there, just walked through a tiny, square grid hole, head first! What were they doing down there? I went down into the cellar to see if I could find the answer to the enigma. I approached said window in the dark cellar, not to scare anybody off. The window itself is always open for ventilation purposes, but there is another metal grid preventing unwelcome visitors. So, there I stood on the inside, in the dark, looking out into this small, dark space. It was just like watching a nature show on TV where they have hidden cameras in nests. Suddenly a Great Tit comes walking down through the horizontal grid, down the metal chain (the purpose of which I have not got a clue!) hanging in the middle, as if he were a Nuthatch or somebody. He is not supposed to be able to do that. For a couple of seconds he was sitting on the window grid 20 centimetres from my face. He then flew around a little in this cramped space before ascending along the chain and disappearing out into the ample space of the garden and its freedom. What was that all about? Not a clue! Are Great Tits particularly adventurous? Maybe they are. That afternoon, sitting upstairs in the study by my computer I saw another bird (same individual?) nearly coming through the upper gap of my tilted window. I had to shoo it off not to get another mad bird in the house. Maybe some reader knows more about these matters than I do, perhaps the self-confessed tit man, Haddock ;-) could confirm my suspicions regarding the nature of Great Tits. I know he has plenty of them in his garden.

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