Yukky jobs around the place

4 dead birds above the baffle plate of our wood burner insert.

The presence of which made it impossible to actually remove said baffle plate so had to be dragged out piecemeal.

In fact I only noticed as one had managed to get it’s head partly past the baffle plate in the back corner, otherwise I would not have realised and prior to doing so was *considering* whether to light a fire.

And that, folks, is why you get the chimney swept if you haven’t used it for a while.

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No liner?

Yes there’s a liner, cowl at the top even - but clearly enough room for a blackbird or three and a sparrow (sized bird) to fly down and get trapped.

You’re lucky you didn’t have a large hornets nest in there, and then lit a fire. I know someone who did that a few days before Christmas . Wasn’t me, honest :crossed_fingers:


We still have nightmares about the owl that fell down our chimney and into the stove. Have made sure chimney pot in better state now.

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At least the nest shouldn’t have been occupied if it was just before Christmas.

A hornet’s nest on fire in your chimney is one thing, hornets pouring out quite another.

The merest thought hadn’t crossed my mind…

We had the same thing… a little owl down the big chimney, which had an insert at the bottom, and a second down the pipe to the Godin stove. It’s not surprising because we had seen them up on the chimney stack and could see that they shuffled backwards and forwards.

We managed to coax the first one round the bend in the pipe until it fell into the insert and escaped, black with soot, via an open window.

sooty wol-1

For the stove we took the flue pipes apart and the owl popped out and flew around the kitchen, leaving artistic owl traces on the wall and soot on the ceiling. All chimneys are all covered in mesh now. Better late than never!


Oh love that! I would have sprayed it with a sealer!!


But yours lived. Ours didn’t hence the nightmares.

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And your OH is vegetarian?

Good idea! We have kept it but didn’t think of that.

It was occupied by hundreds of dead hornets. The fire loosened part of the nest that was wrapped around the top of the pipe from the stove and a shower of smoldering hornets and parts of nest came down the wide chimney. I asked a friend who was an artisan builder if he could go up and remove it, but he said it would need a pest controller to do it. The Maire knew one and he came round and removed it dressed in full gear. No live hornets, but he said you can never be absolutely sure and we had had a mild winter up until then.
The burning hornets stunk the house out for days and we sere lucky it didn’t cause a chimney fire. We had the stove pipe properly sealed in after that and the stack repointed.

Ouch, sounds pretty horrendous.

We had a young kestrel die as we are not there constantly and once in the stove couldnt get out again. Upsetting so I made a cover from chicken wire to prevent it happening again.

I hate having to clean the gutters. Found a dead pigeon once which wasn’t particularly pleasant to put your hand in :roll_eyes:

Which reminds me - must do ours before I leave, an unpleasant job as they are usually full of rotting leaves but a dead pigeon would definitely jack the yuk factor up several notches.

That’s a shame Jane. Ours were lucky because we were at home and heard them scrabbling. It took place over two separate days… For the insert, we found an old piece of electrical cable and bent it into a suitable shape for pushing up and persuading the poor owl out. Thankfully it worked.