We had to rescue a blue tit today – one of the pair that frequents the garden most of the day and have been flying in and out of next door’s next box. I was putting some things in the garage and closing the door, could hear the common alarm call of the blue tit, close but surprisingly not moving away.

Moving into visual range, I saw that it appeared to be stuck – somehow – to a branch of the cotoneaster which covers most of the garage wall. Andy had joined me by this time and on closer inspection (and the terror of the bird) saw that something had wound about its foot and also the branch. It was, as it fluttered, dangling by one leg. After briefly conferring over a course of action, I sidled up and, holding the nearest end of the small branch with one hand, cut it at the other end so that I could bring branch, blue tit and all down to an accessible level.

I supported the little creature on my lap while I attempted to unravel its foot. I cupped my hand lightly around it to stop the mad and potentially damaging fluttering. It was some kind of purple…string, or twine, or netting or something, tiny strands tangled about the toes of one foot. A tiny amount, but enough to cause serious problems. I could see where it had got attached to the branch, but made an attempt to untangle the foot first. It was surprisingly difficult to identify the pale purple against the grey of its clawed foot. In the end I had to use scissors. I was so terrified of hurting it I was shaking, which didn’t exactly help! In the end I cut it free. It felt the release instantly and was gone within the second. But I didn’t get all the stuff off. I was torn between trying to do a good job and a very real fear that if I kept it there too long, its poor little heart would give out with fright. There was no doubt the bird was terrified. Its mate had appeared and was calling urgently from the tree.

So I’m now fretting that it will catch itself again, or that the threads will injure its foot. I wish I’d been able to unwind the threads. I didn’t really have the chance to savour such a close encounter with the delightful creature; I was too worried I’d scare it to death! I do hope it does all right. I hope somehow what I did get off will enable it to survive, and maybe be able to get rid of the remaining thread. I just wish I’d done a better job of helping it.

What man made things do to wild creatures…

Energy levels: 5/10
Headache: High (horrible today)

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