After nibbling a few spilt sunflower hearts from the lawn beneath, a grey squirrel looks up quizzically at the feeders. Taking a leap at the pole, it gets to within a foot of the steel cone and hangs there for a moment until gravity kicks in and it starts to slide back down, like a fireman on a pole.
It scampers off towards the patio then climbs to the top of the cordon apple and looks back towards the pole. After checking out the patio table and discovering the odd sunflower heart that I’d spilt there, it goes over to the shed and climbs to the apex of the roof, to check out the challenge from another angle.
Then it’s back to the feeding pole for one last attempt. Taking a running jump, it succeeds in propelling itself right up into the cone. For a few moments all that we can see of it is a bushy tail, dangling and swishing slightly. That’s as far as it gets, then it lets itself gently back down to earth via the pole.
I think that now we’ll be able to go back to using plastic feeders, in addition to the robust ‘squirrel-proof’ metal feeders that we had to start using a year ago.