I’ve written at some length recently about the starlings who nest in and around our house. It is a few weeks since they all fledged and some pairs are now busy tending their second brood.

A couple of nights ago, about 7.30pm, I went to put the bin out and as I was locking the boiler house I heard a very loud chirping. It sounded like a baby bird was actually in the room.

After some searching and moving of boxes I found it was actually poking it’s beak through a narrow gap between wall and ceiling. It had obviously got out of it’s nest in the eaves, turned the wrong way somehow and was now pointing in the wrong direction.

Peter, who had come out to see what was happening, confirmed what I feared. The bird was stuck, and short of removing the electricity meter and the consumer unit, or taking the tiles off the roof, there was no way we were ever going to reach it.

He tried to push it back with an off-cut of carpet tile, (that’s how narrow the gap was) but it soon became clear this was not working and would potentially do more harm than good, though in truth no ‘good’ was ever going to come out of the situation.

And so we closed the door, the bird still crying to be fed, poking it’s beak through the hole.  In the morning as I tentatively opened the door, all was quiet, but I could see the bird, it’s beak and one leg poking through the gap. The whole thing was heartbreaking.

I kept thinking of the poor thing calling for it’s mum wondering why she never came. The chances are she probably did come, but simply couldn’t turn the chick around to face the right way.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things this is but a blip. There must be baby birds and animals all over the world calling out for help that never comes, and plenty will suffer worse than my starling. Nevertheless I feel very sad at the loss of this small bird.