I was cleaning up in my daughter's bedroom the other day and although I heard a rustling noise, I put it down to the papers I was collecting up. Very soon I heard it again, and realised that it was coming from behind the metal flap in the chimney place. This metal flap probably has a proper name, but I don't know it - it is pushed forward to open if one was to have a fire, which of course we don't in the bedrooms, or left shut against draughts. I gingerly pushed it slightly, and much flapping resulted so I assumed a bird, and probably a dove, had fallen down the chimney!
Luckily the poor frightened thing fluttered upwards and I was able to push the flap forwards and twist it out (flap not dove!). I had my camera handy and so took a couple of photos quickly - that might seem cruel to keep the dove waiting to be rescued, but it wasn't really as it was just sitting inside the chimney.
Sooty - sorry, not very original name I know! - resisted being rescued but I managed to grab her wing and dragged her out as gently as possible, and held her close to my body, which is how you are supposed to hold doves. This didn't do a lot for my white T-shirt! Sooty also was a horrible grey colour. I don't think she can have been down there long though as I've been in the room every day.
I put Sooty in my dog's carrying box with food and water to recover, and she quickly started eating. After fifteen minutes, and as the other doves were around, I thought it best to release her. I ringed her first - in purple, John's colour - and then tried to bath her in the dove's washing up bowl bath on the lawn, but she struggled and so I set her free.
I wondered at first if she couldn't fly, and saw myself with another dove to catch and put in the dovecote at night, but after wandering about for a bit, she eventually flew to the roof with the others and seemed perfectly happy.
(Sooty left, Spirit right)
I've seen her every day since and also seen her give herself a bath, but she remains very grey, poor little thing.
(Sooty - a day or so after falling down the chimney, and after a bath. Her feathers are very tatty and soiled)
Hopefully this won't happen again in the sitting-room when the fire is lit this winter!