Monday, 20 July 2015
The Guest In The Bathroom
We have had fledgling problems in the past and on Saturday morning... there are chirps behind the bathroom wall where chirps should not be heard. During the course of the day these chirps move upwards and grow louder. On Sunday morning I remove the ceiling trapdoor and cautiously stick my head through the access hole. I can see a yellow, gapey beak pointing at me in the gloom. I slowly lower myself back to the floor, open the window wide... and leave, closing the door behind me. Later in the day, I am indeed cheered by the sight of an adult sparrow flying out of the bathroom window. But the chirping goes on and grows louder. The Old Man thinks the bird is now in the bathroom itself. The day grows dark. I open the door. The fledgling is on the floor, next to the bath. I close the window against the dark (surely Parent Sparrow have gone to bed now?), collect my night dress... and leave.
All night long I suffer guilt about small sparrow in the cold, dark, bathroom corner. I feel sure he have died of cold and hunger. So this morning, as dawn strikes, I am relieved to hear the chirps start up again. I creep into the bathroom. Very small sparrow is in another corner... delicate spatters of poop are growing in number. I open the window wide, creep out again, closing the door and returning to my bed. The next time I look, on my way to breakfast, the baby bird (it has all its feathers but is still very yellow round the beak-corners) is in yet another corner of the room. And I realise that there is nowhere for it to drop down into flight. Flying will mean lift-off from the floor. Doubt if it can manage that. And does the Parent still come to it? A flurry of shocked wings behind me tells me that it does.
The Old Man comes up with a temporary solution. He finds his polystyrene propagating tray with its sawn-off end (don't ask... can't remember why). I put it onto the bathroom's deep windowsill, with a towel covering part of the unsawn-off end (shelter). Next I pick up the outraged fledgling and pop it into its new "nesting box", on the sill and by the open window. I sigh, gather my toothpaste and brush and leave the room again.
It be chirping loudly as I write. But I do wonder when I get a wash.