Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cats, Dogs and a trapped Blue tit

Wolds-End Tom was showing rather a lot of interest in the area around our washing machine outlet. The drain has a grating covering it and I doubted anything could get through that (although I did once find a newt when clearing one out). Cats however should not be doubted. He lets me know when somebody or something is about before I hear them and once came and found me when some pitta bread got stuck in the toaster and the resultant smoke filled the kitchen.

As he would not be persuaded to divert his attention elsewhere I searched around the area and was very surprised to find a Blue tit hanging upside down from the grate. The poor thing had been into the water and looked to be soaking wet.

With Wolds-End Tom's good work now done he was encouraged to take a back seat although from the look on his face he did not appreciate being carried indoors wanting to see if the rescue was successful!
At first the grating would not come off. The bird hung on not moving and looking straight at me. I was concerned that any sudden jolt would cause it to fall into the water again. A screwdriver helped me get the cover off and the Blue tit hopped across the patio failing to fly. I could see it was soaking wet and although it had plenty of energy it needed to dry out before being able to fly. It climbed up into some nearby bamboo and I retreated a short distance. 

A short while later it started to call out and another Blue tit answered and landed on the fence above the bamboo. It then launched an attack on the rescued bird which surprised me but the Blue tit's feathers must have dried out enough for it to fly as they both flew over to a cherry tree. The second bird then launched another attack and I saw it pull a feather out with it's beak. They both then flew away out of view.

As there is a nesting box near the drain I wondered if they had been fighting and that is how one of them ended up in the drain.

When released Wolds-End Tom made sure there were no more down the drain by thoroughly sniffing around the area - he wasn't happy to have missed the rescue!

The morning had been cold and overcast but the afternoon brought sun and blue sky so our planned shopping trip was put off to another day and we went for a walk around Allerthorpe Wood. We were not the only ones and a profusion of dog walkers saw us use one of the quieter paths through the wood were we saw this Roe deer.

We did not see much more in the way of wildlife but it was nice to be out in the sun.