Bird tales

The weekend before last, Jan’s mum and her partner came to Basel for an afternoon as they were on holiday at the Bodensee (that’s Lake Constance to English speakers). They came by the flat to have a look at it and eat some lunch, then we all headed into town. It was really far too hot to do much though, so after taking the ferry across the Rhine, briefly dipping our feet in the water and walking along the river for a bit, we decided what we really needed was a drink! We took another ferry back across the water and headed to the restaurant of the Basler Papiermühler (paper mill – a fascinating museum by the way!). Jan and I had been before, so we knew they had good cake – and also coffee, according to Jan, although I settled for ice tea. Even the idea of coffee made me feel like melting!

While we were enjoying our drinks, we noticed a commotion going on at the corner of the restauarnt building (we were sitting outside). A waiter from the restauarant and an older man (presumably a customer) were pouring water on a bird who was obviously too exhausted to fly away. Eventually, they scooped the little guy up and placed him in a dog bowl filled with water. One by one, the other patrons of the restaurant went over to see what was going on – us included. What we saw in the bowl was a little swift, huddled up at the edge looking very sorry for himself. Later, from our table, we saw his little head poke up over the edge of the bowl and noticed him spreading his wings a bit. When we went over for another look, I took a photo. He still seemed a bit dazed and confused, but much better than before! Shortly after taking the photo, we paid and left. I wonder what happened to Mr. Bird?

The bird actually looks a lot better here - at least he's lifted his head and started looking around!
The bird actually looks a lot better here – at least he’s lifted his head and started looking around!

Then, last Wednesday, I was minding my own business hanging some laundry on the balcony when something flew past me and into the flat. I went in to have a look and saw a sparrow flying around my living room. It saw me, flew into the window in a panic then went and hid between a cabinet and the wall where I couldn’t get to it. I tried leaving a trail of bread to tempt it out, but birdie was having none of it. At some point I went and lay on the floor with my camera and used the zoom to check whether the little bird was even alive – I didn’t want to scare it even more by getting too close. So here’s a photo of a tiny bird cowering beside my living room furniture:

Poor birdy!
Poor birdy!

Eventually, the bird must have decided it was safe to come out. I was just sitting on the sofa when she (pretty sure this one’s a female) came whooshing out, flew past me, all around the living room, round the kitchen (obviously still in a panic as she hit a few walls on the way!) and eventually made it back out through the balcony door. Phew! I placed the bits of bread on the balcony, where they stayed all night before being picked up by a whole host of sparrows the next morning. I hope the one that got trapped in the flat got some as well to make up for her awful experience with the terrifying human!

Phew, I think I’ve had quite enough bird-related excitement for a while!