Trouble at the top
has been trouble here in the garden this week. The first I knew of it was at
breakfast time when I was looking out of the sunroom window there was a huge
black crow struggling along to drink at our little pond. I had seen two of
these birds flying and circling confidently over our Scots pine tree where they
nested last year. But now this one was grounded and its wing was drooping as it
stumbled on our grass keeping a beady eye on me as it went.
bad luck for the crows is that two magpies got there first. They have already
taken over the old crows’ nest and are beginning to repair it and construct a
roof of twigs. I can see their flashes of fresh smart black and white uniforms everywhere
above the trees. They are patrolling quite a wide area. I have just seen the
two of them attacking a squirrel who likes to visit our woodland for pinecones.
The squirrel gave up in the end and I wonder if the crows have lost the battle
to our troubles with the crow family we have had one down our chimney. We were
drinking our coffee before we lit the fire when we heard the scuffling. The
glass doors of the fire were closed, but it was not long before I could see a
beak and a jackdaw’s head going backwards and forwards looking for its escape
route. I have learnt from experience that you cannot just let it out. The bird
will be covered in soot collected from its journey down the chimney and if
suddenly released it will panic and fly all over the room making such a mess.
The trick is to close all doors and curtains except one with an open window.
With luck the released bird will fly straight to the light and then through to
the outside. This is what happened and there was only one mark on a cream
(Taken from my column in the