Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Go tell it to the birds

This a rather strange story that I am hoping an ornothologist might help me with....

It is perfectly true and it happened over the weekend while I was staying in Blackpool for NW Regional Labour Party conference (which was great, but more of that later perhaps)

I arrived on the Friday tea-time and checked into my hotel. My room was on the fourth floor on the side of the hotel, this is the top floor and I guess you could say the room was in the eaves. The en-suite bathroom, like the bedroom, had a sash-window, and it was open about 6". I pulled the blind down to cover the gap.

In the morning, after selecting my clothes for the day, I laid my suitcase on a dressing table in the bedroom, closed the cover, pulled the blind up in the bathroom and went for breakfast.

When I returned to the room at tea-time, there was bird droppings on the lid of the suitcase but the rest of the room was unmarked, as was the bathroom - and there was no bird present, I checked!

I was most puzzled and went downstairs to tell the staff on reception. Clearly a bird had got in to the bathroom, flown across it, into the bedroom and over to the dressing table at the far side of the room. There was nothing to perch on but I figured that perhaps it had been chased, maybe by the chambermaid, and had messed before being either captured or encouraged to fly away. The reception desk knew nothing about it though. There had been no reports of any birds in the room.

I went back to the room and sat on the bed, catching up on a bit of TV, when a bird came and tapped on the bedroom window.  It was not a very big bird and I may have caught a hint of gold or green about its chest.

It flew away when it could not get in but came back again about 20 minutes later and repeated the exercise. I should say that it was not the bathroom window it was trying to access, but the bedroom one, although I guess it may already have tried and failed at the former which I think I must have closed in the meantime.

On Sunday morning I took my suitcase down to the car, went for breakfast and then went back up to the room, just to check I had not left anything behind, before going to settle the bill. Imagine my surprise to see fresh bird mess in exactly the same place on the dressing table as before - only of course my suitcase was not there any more - and nor were any birds.

So, it would appear that a bird was in the habit (or developing a habit, given that the hotel appeared to know nothing about it) of flying into the bathroom, across the bedroom, depositing its mess in a precise place and then flying back out again.

Has anyone heard of anything like this happening before?

There were nets above the third floor windows, across the space between my building and the next building, but they did not extend as far as my floor, so clearly there had been problems with birds historically.

I don't really know what to make of it. Thoughts?

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