Scurry and scuttle. Tap, tap, tap.
What on earth is that? I do hope the blasted mice haven't got into this room too....
woodburner's narrow flue, clearing the elbow, to land in the ashes and now sits looking out through the glass window. Its dagger-beak gives a futile peck now and then; 'let me out, let me out' it taps in birdish Morse code.
(Bird lovers will be pleased to note that fortunately it has been a week since this fire was last lit so our prisoner didn't add 'burnt' to its problems.)
We had anticipated something of a dusty adventure when we opened the door to let it out - with wood ash flying everywhere. In the end our sheets and sack were unnecessary; the bird flew quickly to the windows in its desperation to get outdoors. I scooped it up sharpish and held it firmly.
I think we tend to dismiss starlings as rather uninteresting dull birds - but, up close, how wonderful they are. Sharp of beak and beady eyed, fantastic iridescent plumage - just look at the colours and how they catch the light:
pecking as I carried it to the door and freedom. Its little heart pounded - why was I surprised to find its body so warm and rounded?
I opened my hand and it was away - no looking back of course. Skyward like a missile, up into the trees - to have a quiet few minutes thinking about its ordeal no doubt.
I remembered afterwards that I should have read it the riot act about Not Eating My Hen Food Or Else. There's an opportunity wasted then....