A smashing start to spring

Mahonia, as seen through a big hole in the window


Saturday morning got off to a rather surprising start when a bird smashed through our dining room window.

I was pottering around tidying the hall (a rare occurrence and therefore worthy of mention) when I heard a crash, and my son started screaming.

When I ran into the dining room, I discovered he hadn’t broken anything – but was shouting about a bird in the corner of the room. At first I thought a rook had come down the chimney, as that’s happened a couple of times before.

It was only when I opened one of the windows, so the bird could get out, that I was showered with broken glass and realised how it had got in.

That bird must have really wanted to see what on earth my son was watching on YouTube.

Anyway I switched off the computer, turned off the light and led my son out of the room so the bird could fly out of the wide open window. Only it didn’t. It waited until my husband went to investigate, and then flew up and perched on the pelmet.

Next we opted for Plan B, involving opening the dining room door and the front door, and closing all blinds and curtains so the room was darker.

For those concerned about the bird: it seemed fine. In fact I reckon it was pretty comfortable up near the ceiling, as when my husband poked it with a broom to encourage it to leave, it just looked mildly offended and shuffled along a bit. He actually had to nudge the bird off the end of the pelmet before it finally flew out.

In the aftermath, I texted Paul the painter (“only Constable painted Dedham better”), as he has replaced broken panes of glass for us before. After checking the measurements, Paul was kind enough to nip round later that morning and fit the new glass.

Spot the wavy shadows cast by the old glass


It seems that the Georgian builders had no truck with BSI safety standards, as the old glass in our sash windows is only 2mm thick, much more like the glass in picture frames. The trouble with replacing it with thicker, heavier glass is that this would affect the balance with the lead weights that make the sash windows work. Also, I do love the wavering shadows when light shines through the imperfections in the old glass – you can always see from the shadows which panes have been replaced and which haven’t. So keep your fingers crossed that we don’t get any more birds divebombing the house.

Bird smashed through window red-legged patridge

The culprit

So there you go – country living, complete with kamikaze bird. So much for the quiet life. On the plus side, the dining room floor has now been brushed and hoovered within an inch of its life to remove stray shards of glass.I have no clue about birds, but the general consensus on Facebook seemed to be that the culprit was a red-legged partridge. Unfortunately I missed my opportunity to wreak revenge by cooking it – we should have caught it with the crabbing net rather than pushing it along with a broom!

Anyone else have any crazy bird stories to report?


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  1. 21st March 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I should think it had a rather bad headache for several hours!

  2. 22nd March 2017 / 9:18 am

    This has made me laugh out loud on the bus

  3. 2nd April 2017 / 9:59 pm

    Oh my goodness this would have given me quite the fright! x

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