IT WAS thought to be one of the biggest birds' nests ever built
in Britain. Six feet high and ten feet wide, it had been added to
by the jackdaws in the roof of St Margaret's, Moreton Say, in the
diocese of Lichfield, for the past four years or
more. With the great heap of twigs, leaves, and bits of rubbish
"they had effectively built a bonfire," the Rector, the Revd
Michael Last (right), says.
The birds could be heard in the church below, and a churchwarden
went to investigate. It was not such an easy matter, as the only
way to reach the nest was to climb the tower at the west end of the
church, and crawl the length of the building, above a
lath-and-plaster ceiling. The jackdaws had found an easier
entrance, through a broken grill, high above the east window.
The nest had to be removed, Mr Last told me, not only because of
the fire risk, but also the unhygienic mess they had made. The nest
was found last spring, and the church waited until the birds had
finished raising their family before organising the removal. It
entailed laying planks along the church ceiling, and dragging all
the twigs and general rubbish the whole length of the building and
out of the tower. It took three men from Protec Pest Control the
best part of a day to do it, he says.
The grill, of course, has been closed up, and the jackdaws, who
are currently roosting in the trees, will have to find some other
hole next year.