It’s strange what sort of friendships can blossom during a night out on the tiles.
One minute you’re complete strangers shivering in nightclub queue purgatory, the next, you’re best buds, baring your souls and your butt tattoos by the time your hands are stamped.
And sometimes, the bonds you form over a dance and a round of shots are a little bit wilder than others…
When 22-year-old Liam Fairclough, from Liverpool, headed on his bike to meet friends for a night out on September 23, he couldn’t have guessed he’d pick up a cheeky hitchhiker along the way.
Feeling a pair of tiny feet perched on his cap, call-centre worker Liam quickly ‘twigged’ he was being used as a tree on wheels by a little grey bird with distinct yellow and white markings.
The feathery fella was clearly down to party like Big Bird, and had pegged Liam as a fun friend to tag along with. Turns out, he was right.
Liam treated his bird-brained companion to a proper night out experience, allowing the mini daredevil to travel on his handlebars and introducing him to the delights of a late night takeaway.
I can only hope there was some decent seed options on the menu for the clawed clubber – who is thought to be a Coal Tit – to peruse.
Liam – who nicknamed his new bird buddy George – explained:
I was just on my bike on the way to meet my mates. I felt something on the top of my head and used my camera to see it was a bird.
I couldn’t believe it. At one point he flew down from the handlebars to the floor but someone picked him back up and helped him back on top of my hat.
He ended up staying with us for two or three hours in the end, we kept him with us for the rest of the night.
According to British Garden Birds, the Coal Tit ‘is a small tit’:
The Coal Tit is a small tit, in fact the smallest European tit, and could be confused with the almost indistinguishable Marsh Tit and Willow Tit if it was not for the white patch on the nape. While it behaves like a Blue Tit, there is no blue in its plumage.
The upperparts are a olive-grey, the underparts buff coloured. The crown and large bib are black, while the cheeks and nape are white. There are also two white wing bars on each wing – this feature separates it from the Marsh and Willow Tits if the nape is not visible. The legs are blue-grey.
Juveniles are browner above, and the underparts, cheeks, nape and wing bars are more yellow.
As the night of fun came to a close, George reportedly flew off. I’m sure the usual well-groomed feathers were no doubt in a state of complete disarray.
I’d like to think George spent the following Sunday lazing around his nest, snacking on leftover worms while rewatching his favourite episodes of Birds of a Feather and The Liver Birds.
One thing’s for certain, he’ll no doubt have been hiding his head under his wing after recalling all the embarrassing ‘tweets’ he made…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.