It's taken years, but I've finally managed to convince a couple of birds that they will not be eaten alive if they come onto the balcony.
OK, it's only the odd common-as-muck Great Tit - I can't offer you anything exotic. But I'm proud as punch.
I've had a feeder up since January, but it hadn't been touched and I was about to throw it away. And then when I went onto the balcony one day last week, two tits suddenly flew off.
But if they weren't afraid to come onto the balcony, why weren't they touching the nuts?
Probably, I thought, because by now they were stale. So I replaced them - and within twenty four hours - bingo. I had birds feeding on the balcony for the first time.
I think it's just one pair that come. They turn up at exactly 8am for breakfast every morning. The female is more wary - if she sees me she's gone for good. But the male is more confident. He just waits a minute till I've gone and then flies back. He didn't spot me this morning. I was in the bedroom hiding behind the bed with the French doors wide open, camera at the ready ...
Hope he enjoyed his breakfast.