Last evening as the sun went down, behind a thick layer of cloud, Beloved and I marvelled at a Mummy Chaffinch as she darted back and forth feeding her young fledgling, Chuffy the Chaffinch.
Young Chuffy nodded his (or her) head up and down furiously to signify the need for more and more food, inspiring some measure of admiration in this Secret Agent author. There was no sitting on the fence when Chuffy wanted to get the ‘feed me‘ message across to mummy! (Actually there was a lot of sitting on the fence as Chuffy was in reality, sitting on our fence)…
The light fell and mummy decided that enough was enough for this day and chirruped a signal to Chuffy to follow her as she made for the nest, in order to put her feet-up for the night.
Chuffy duly took off and veering sharply to the right, flew straight into our window frame, where in a flurry of feathers and flailing wings he (or she) tumbled to the floor in front of the house, crash landing next to our struggling tomato plants. Mummy did not return to help young Chuffy regain his (or her) confidence and get aloft again! In fact Chuffy was left to jolly well fend for him (or her) self…
As the gloaming deepened, mother nature kicked Beloved into save the baby mode and this Secret Agent author was prodded into action to creep outside with a cardboard box, in order to provide a home for the night in order to protect young Chuffy from… mother nature.
Chuffy was duly, temporarily incarcerated in said box and placed on the veranda. I hobbled back into the house and went through to the front veranda picking the box and lid up together to place it on the Black & Decker Workmate that has taken up residence on the veranda. (Doesn’t everyone have one there?)
Mother nature once again prodded Beloved into another act of mercy and she announced that she would return with some crumbled up bread and wild bird seed with a small amount a brie just in case Chuffy needed a snack, returning a few moments later with all these good things and a handful of grass for bedding.
I slid the lid off the box with a great deal of Secret Agent stealth and beloved carefully laid in the grass bedding and food inside in order to keep Chuffy in the pink for the night. Chuffy decided that, although all this attention on his (or her) behalf was all very nice, freedom would be a better option and so shot out of the box like well greased shit off a highly polished shovel, into the gloom.
He (or she) was followed closely by Beloved who, in an attack of relentless compassion, armed only with a torch, eventually recovered Chuffy from the rough, a yard or so away from our freshly strimmed not quite so rough where he (or she) was hiding in the long grass, next to a rock.
Chuffy was carefully placed back into the sturdy cardboard box, the lid folded into place, and a large floor tile was slammed on top to keep the contents secure for the night.
This morning at 5am, this Secret Agent author was prodded into life and he and Beloved crept out onto the veranda in order to reintroduce Chuffy to the concept of freedom. All was quiet and for a moment we thought that Chuffy had perished of cardboardboxitis during the night. However, to our delight, there was a telltale scrabbling as Beloved moved the box, showing that Chuffy was indeed alive and kicking.
The box was unlidded and placed at an angle of forty-five degrees to allow little Chuffy an easy escape which was executed as the box made contact with the wooden floor boards.
Chuffy, once again launched him-(or her)-self off the veranda and headed straight for the floor this time opting to dodge under the veranda for protection. Beloved sprinkled breadcrumbs and wild bird seed into the grass and we retreated as several Chaffinches made for an early breakfast at chez our place.
There have been several tweets that when translated from Chaffinch chatter into English read, “…and I told you.” ; “Don’t say that you weren’t warned, young Chuffy!” ; “Window frames won’t get out of your way you know!…”.
We may only hope that Chuffy survives the scorn.
Footnote : Beloved is at this very moment dashing across our rear garden wilderness area chasing away Hubert the Hooded Crow who seems to be taking an unusual amount of interest in our under-veranda void.