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How to silence a chaffinch? - April's editor's letter

PUBLISHED: 18:13 10 April 2011 | UPDATED: 12:00 28 February 2013

How to silence a chaffinch? - April's editor's letter

How to silence a chaffinch? - April's editor's letter

I don't often use my editor's letter to write about what's going on in my own life (well, apart from the time I accidentally on purpose mentioned my obsession with chocolate brownies, just in case anyone fancied sending us any).

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2011


I dont often use my editors letter to write about whats going on in my own life (well, apart from the time I accidentally on purpose mentioned my obsession with chocolate brownies, just in case anyone fancied sending us any).


No, seriously though, I normally try to write about things that are of wider interest to the Surrey community than my own fairly humdrum existence.


This month, however, I am making an exception (yes, even though I am acutely aware that I should be writing about our wonderful community heroes who appear in this issue). This time, dear readers, I am unashamedly going to ask for your help, because frankly Im at the end of my tether.


In short, I have a problem that is driving me completely and utterly bonkers but I should warn you first that it is a little bizarre. Erm, if I said the word chaffinch to you, I imagine this will probably have one of two reactions. Either you will think, with some justification, that I have finally lost it, or you will be leaping up and down with joy because someone else in Surrey shares your pain.


For those that fall into the former category, allow me to explain. For some reason, come the mating/nesting season, chaffinches become hugely territorial creatures and generally become obsessed with trying to chase off other birds. The problem is, they cant seem to differentiate between the real thing and their reflection in the window, with the result that some birds will start attacking the pane of glass with their beak.


Again, and again, and again. Cheep cheep, tap tap. Cheep cheep, tap tap and so it goes on.


In my case, this deafening cacophony usually starts at, ooh, around 6-6.30am, when its at its most ferocious, and continues sporadically all day. In previous years, the sleep deprivation has been bad enough (this is the third year in a row this has happened, by the way), never mind the bad jokes (well, a little bird told me oh, ho, ho, ho), but now as a homeworker, its also close to driving me insane.


We have tried everything from sticking pictures of giant owls on the glass (you try explaining that to visitors: Erm, you see we have this bird problem. No, really) to covering the window with pieces of newspaper to hanging up glittery objects all to no avail. So, my question is this


Does anyone out there know a solution for my chaffinch problem? Theres a bottle of Denbies wine for anyone who can come to my rescue. Answers please to editor@surreylife.co.uk.


Right, enough of all that. Self-indulgent chaffinch rant over, and I will now leave you to enjoy the magazine in peace! (oh, and please do check out the community heroes on page 83 for some truly amazing stories in fact, if anyone can solve the chaffinch conundrum, I might just be able to get you onto next years list).


Caroline Harrap, Surrey Life magazine editor


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