Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bye-Bye Birdie?

The bird saga continues.  I really hope we're nearing the end of this little drama.

The early bird isn't getting the worm, but rather chirping down my chimney every morning.  And it isn't some sweet little songbird that weighs just a few ounces.  Oh no - it's this loud squawk that has me picturing something the size of a donkey with wings.  Seriously, it's got this big, deep throated vocalization that gives me the willies when I hear it.  Now I'm not scared anymore, I'm pissed off.  These birds don't know who they're dealing with.  I don't have any qualms about killing ladybugs, remember?  As soon as I hear bird sounds from the chimney, I clap my hands, yell and bang a metal trash can on the stone hearth in a bid to scare the bird away.  It's like some twisted sort of pep rally to defeat my opponent, with all the clapping, yelling, and noisemaking.  I'm gonna win this battle against the fine feathered fauna in England.  

Next chapter in the bird book:  On Friday, Callie heard some chirps coming from the chimney and a few pebbles cascaded down onto the hearth.  I had called our property management company a week ago and had never heard back from anyone.  It just reinforced my foregone conclusion that everything moves along over here at a snail's pace.  With a second opinion in place, I rang them up again and was promised someone would swing by to check it out for us.  

Sure enough, about an hour later an older gentleman rang the bell.  He didn't look like your stereotypical blue collar worker, someone who deals with chimneys for a living.  It looked as if he was headed out to play a few rounds of squash later at his club and then enjoy a nice cocktail afterwards.  He was wearing khaki pants, with a long-sleeved, blue striped button down shirt underneath a green sweater.  And it wasn't just any sweater.  It was a Polo sweater because I recognized the little polo pony with player on it.  His silvery white hair reminded me of the patriarch on the TV show "Dynasty".  

I let him into the house and he asked to take a look at the fireplace.  I stood well back while he crouched on the floor and used this cute, but powerful flashlight to peer up the flue.  Nothing in there.  Then he asked to go out into the garden (English speak for backyard) and have a look at the chimney.  I let him know that there is a good-sized ladder hanging on the side of the garage, but he told me that would be unnecessary.  He then proceeded to pull out a pair of fancy binoculars in order to get a "good look" at the top of the chimney.  After a few minutes, he pronounced that it does appear a bird is nesting in the top... since we haven't used the fireplace this winter.  I should have caved to the youngest child's request to make some s'mores, bad mother that I am.  I could have killed two birds (insert evil laugh here!) with one stone.

The smartly dressed bird man told me he would let the property management company know about the nesting situation.  They would tell the owners of the home, who would give the go-ahead for removal of the nest and installation of some sort of fireplace cover to keep this from happening again.  Mr. Carrington, aka bird guy, would have his men - the ones who actually work for a living - come out sometime in the next week to take care of this for me.  

The entire time he was at our house, the bird guy was keeping up a constant chatter about a recent trip to Florida.  He had gone on holiday to visit his friends who live in some frou-frou golf course community over there.  I guess they pay these bird guys pretty well, so they can dress in top-notch clothes and take vacations to warmer climates during dreary English winters to work on their golf, or squash, game.

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