It seems that Walter and I have bonded, although I still have to coax him down from the adjacent rooftops with flattery and promises of extra corn rations! He is a pigeon of habit, arriving for his food at the same time each day, though where his roosts at night is a mystery.

It didn’t take the crows long to cotton on to these potential free meals, swooping down onto the shed and using their heft to barge in uninvited whenever Walter was left unattended to feed. On several occasions I have had to stand in the rain, before any thoughts of breakfast, wearing my Wellington boots and a waterproof mac over my pyjamas as a nervous Walter tentatively pecked unmolested at his grain. As the corvids croaked menacingly at us from high up in the surrounding trees, they reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s well-known film, The Birds. I must admit to seeing myself more in the role of an English eccentric rather than anything remotely as glamorous as Tippi Hedren, Hitch’s leading lady!