So it is along around 5:30pm yesterday afternoon, and my ever-loving wife and I are sitting in our living room. The dog’s pestering me for his afternoon walk, as I’d expect at that time of day.
And then, there’s a slight whump! noise, accompanied by a feeling like a brief change in air pressure in the room - as if a door had been slammed in another room, making its effect felt where we were sitting. The sensation was considerably more noticeable than the sound.
“What was that?” we pretty much asked each other, feeling a tad puzzled. We were on the point of ignoring the whole thing, when a scrabbling noise made itself heard. Mrs Fowllyd thought it was from outside (the woman whose garden abuts ours has just acquired some chickens), but I thought it was very much inside the house. The dog agreed with me, judging by his interested and alert look and the position of his head (as close to the fireplace as he could get). Mrs Fowllyd and I had a look outside, but there was nothing there, so we came back in and established that the sounds were definitely coming from behind the coal-effect gas fire that we never use.
“I reckon a bird’s fallen down the chimney - more than likely a wood pigeon” quoth I. “Have we got an old sheet or suchlike that we can use to catch it in if need be?” We did, so I set about dismantling the gas fire (yes, I made sure the supply to it was cut off first). It took quite a bit of doing, but eventually I managed to get the grate, fake coals and gas burner part out of the way, so all that was left was the metal fireplace itself, which was sealed to the backplate.
Some prising with a screwdriver sorted that, so I was able to tip the fireplace forward and have a look behind it. As expected, a large, plump wood pigeon was standing there, turning around now and then, presumably wondering what to do (though I ave my doubts about a pigeon’s capacity to wonder anything).
Now, I tend to somewhat nervous about picking up such things as wood pigeons, largely because I’m worried that I’ll hurt them. However, as Mrs Fowllyd currently has a broken left wrist, she wasn’t able to do it. So, when the thing had turned round to an appropriate angle, I reached in and grabbed it (gently, I hasten to add). It tried to escape my grasp, as you’d expect, but I got it to the patio doors and let it go, on which it flew off, leaving quite a trail of slightly sooty feathers.
So there you are. I definitely didn’t expect a wood pigeon rescue to be on the agenda yesterday. After the trouble he’d caused me, he was lucky not to end up as a starter.