A baby siskin

For MWG

A baby siskin – maybe on a maiden flight – crashed headlong into our kitchen window this afternoon. Disturbed by the sight of the beautiful bird lying dazed on the patio before me, I was very reluctant indeed to touch the tiny creature for fear of hurting it further.

I thought of the not very friendly neighbourhood sparrow-hawk and wished I had a little birdcage near to hand to afford a bit of protection – hoping like mad that rest might bring about recovery. And then I remembered our plastic laundry basket! Brilliant. Turned upside down and gently lowered over the patient it was perfect for the job. Then came the wait … for a full half hour.

Was the little bird going to make it? It didn’t look good. Eyes closed. Sometimes barely breathing. No interest in the suet pellets usually keenly consumed. Just the occasional blink. Like some I’d seen before. And then as if by magic, responding, I think, to the voice of a fellow, there was a busy fluttering.

I lifted the basket away and – although I must have caught a fleck of something in each eye because the view was very misty – I could see enough to watch the most wobbly and uncertain flight imaginable! Enough, though, to make it to the safety of a tree in next door’s garden. I’m more delighted than I can report – and pleased as punch that our laundry basket has shown itself fit for a dual role.

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