Forget the lambs and calves, the bulbs in bloom and the flowering cherry in blossom. The real sign that spring is upon us is finding the first bird inside.
We have scores of trees in our garden and hundreds, maybe thousands on the farm. But for some reason there’s always a few stupid but determined birds which prefer to try to nest between the chimney guard and the chimney – in spite of the wire netting attached firmly to the top to keep them out.
We’re not keen on this because the sort of things they like to make their nests from are the sort of things which might be combustible if the chimney got hot enough.
And there’s a second problem because of a gap between the chimney and the guard which enables the bird to get inside. The fire sits in the wall between the living room and the hall and the chimney goes through the ceiling in the hall. When the bird tries to build its nest, twigs and grass drop through the gap and the bird follows.
Once there it heads towards the light which takes it in to a bedroom where it hits the window and panics. When a bird panics it tends to make a mess which is bad enough if I find it soon after it arrives and a whole lot worse if I don’t find it until later.
Today’s bird hadn’t been inside long when I discovered it and I was able to get it out before it had left too many visiting cards. But as I cleaned up behind it I wished yet again that this harbinger of spring would be content to stay outside with the lambs, calves, bulbs and blossom where it belongs.