It is a fact that being awoken at six every morning by an onerous bonging is not a good start to the day. If the birds could have jazzed it up a bit with a few different notes, it would have been different. As a novelty feature in a cathedral it would have been unique. In this case however, the economically friendly chimney bird noise amplification unit, aka ornamental chimney blocker had to go.
Last week therefore, when the builders were taking a well earned tea break, we mentioned the issue with the birds once more. ‘No problem,’ a couple of them replied cheerily, ‘we’ll just pop up on the roof and remove the ornamental chimney blocker.’
Well they didn’t actually refer to it in those words – more like ‘get the blimmin’ thing off’ was more like it. And being obliging lads, they popped up on the roof immediately as sprightly as a couple of mountain goats. One came back down straight away, having reported that the birds had continued to pile sticks down the chimney in spite of the blocker. The other gamely started to remove the offending article in spite of declaring he didn’t like heights.
It was all going swimmingly well until the jackdaws, who had initially made themselves scarce, returned to the chimney bringing with them an entire flock of their local friends and acquaintances. The poor builder who was attempting to take out the ornamental chimney blocker had been mistaken as an intruder by what looked like the entire jackdaw population of Hampshire. This was an offence they obviously took extremely seriously, the nest being defended by a swat team of birds dive bombing the builder with alarming rapidity. The poor man hung on to both the roof and chimney blocker for dear life as he valiantly fought off the onslaught. Fortunately he managed to achieve enough space to jump down from the roof back on to the scaffolding to safety.
So now after all the drama, peace is restored at last, the pair of nesting jackdaws are happily back in their chimney and the ceaseless mournful bonging has been replaced by a comparatively melodic ca-cawing once more. I just hope the builders don’t charge danger money….