I feel so guilty that I’ve struggled to write this update, it feels as if I’m admitting my criminal irresponsibility and negligence to the world. And you know where to find me. Did you know that it is a criminal offence to release either a hand reared or a casualty animal when it doesn’t have as equal a chance as it’s (naturally raised, non intervened) peers? Puts quite an edge on it.
We checked the weather forecast before starting our release, rain but that’s nothing new in this country, and we had to balance it with the itching need of these fledglings to get out. We’d had to shut the curtains to stop them crashing into the glass and they kept bonking their heads on the ceiling. It was definitely their time for more space. Rain is not unusual and even more unfortunately, it’s unlikely to go away completely. That’s real freak weather conditions otherwise. Besides, the door would remain open and food provided. They could always shelter here too. That’s more than other fledglings would have.
That’s what we told ourselves. Maybe we were irresponsible, maybe we were inexperienced, maybe we were impatient, maybe we were stupid. I don’t know. Do birdy parents check the forecast before allowing their babies out of the nest?
Hindsight is a great thing to torture yourself with.
Wednesday evening we had all four back in then one went back out. He didn’t come home to roost at bedtime so we had to hope that he had found a safe roost elsewhere. It was dry at the time too. And really, that’s kind of what you want them to do.
Thursday morning was still dry, overcast with a threat of rain. The forecast said rain again. I tell myself now that I should have read through the news, maybe there would have been an article about the weather already hitting the furthest point of the peninsula, two counties south. I don’t know. I tell myself that I should have done something different. I tell myself that I should have kept the door shut that morning and not have let the other three fly free like they did.
The storm came in like I don’t what. It was the kind of storm that would have taken you by surprise in October. Three months on when the fledglings would have been bigger and stronger, more savvy too. I can’t remember one like it. Especially not in June.
To give you an idea of how bad it was and to torture myself a little more over my negligence, we have an enclosed balcony which keeps fairly dry. To have the rain splash the bedroom window three feet inside, the wind has to be coming from a certain angle and be pretty hard. It doesn’t happen much. Yesterday the rain was lashing against the window and the balcony floor was awash.
We kept the door open, the rain driving into the sitting room, hoping against hope.
Maybe they found somewhere to roost.
But now the biggest threat to our babies is exposure.
I feel so terribly. I took my eye off the ball, I lost focus. I should have checked the news or the forecast better. I should have done something, done something differently, anything. Because it is my responsibility.
I failed our babies.