The Michael spent a very infuriating and exhausting Sunday, crawling, stumbling, ducking and diving around in our loft in pursuit of a tiresome starling that had somehow found its way in.
I think we’ve flushed the little blighter out for the time being and blocked off where he was getting in. (I cut lengths of unused fake-wood flooring left in the loft to help block off the gully which I think served as the entrance for our feathered friend - but sssshh - don’t tell the landlords!)
I did learn one thing though: trying to rig-up a trap with a bread roll in a recycle bin with a wooden spoon propping the lid open really isn’t worth the trouble.
I have to admit that the scene from Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Birds’ was firmly in the back of my mind throughout it all - you know, where Nat is trapped in a darkened room with dozens of birds swooping and pecking him for all they’re worth. Rather than resorting to wrapping a blanket around my head to prevent my eyes being pecked out as Nat did, I opted for a pair of safety goggles I fortuitously found whilst hunting for an extension lead. Luckily, we didn’t get into a hand-to-hand combat situation and I fear the starling would have won handsomely had we done so.
Before any smart Alec points out, yes, I’m aware starlings are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take a starling, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.
For the avoidance of doubt, I did none of these things! We think it went of its own accord, though there is the remote possibility it died quietly of fright and is starting to decompose slowly amongst the sea of boxes up there!
I’m still surprised I survived the whole episode without sustaining serious injury; I had visions of myself falling A over T out of the loft hatch and landing spread-eagled at the top of the stairs with a number of broken limbs and a spinal cord which resembled a length of wet spaghetti.
Most accidents do occur in the home after all!