The consequence has been that even through the awful weather, we've not been feeding the birds. The bushy-tailed rats had worked out that the easiest way to get the bird food is to hoick the glass dome of the feeder sending it crashing down onto the ground. Sooner or later it will smash.
However, a few days ago in the spirit of generosity that I'm well known for, I filled up the feeder...and was quickly rewarded with the sight of birds on the table. Beautiful. Not surprisingly, the next morning, the dome was on the floor, and the food (dried meal worms that the squirrels don't even like) was spread around. I didn't have the time or inclination to sort it out.
The dome isn't actually a dome, it's more of a narrow necked jar with a very wide bottom...inverted when it's on the table, and when it fell it ended up with the neck facing upwards. It stayed like that for a couple of days, until this morning when I spied this:
I knew something was up...so rushed out in my dressing gown to find this:
It's a hedgehog...and let's face it, if you've got to get stuck, in a jar full of food is not a bad place to be. He was obviously quite happy there, but with the jar tipped up like that it may have become his coffin. So, I carried it gently into the shade, tipped it on it's side, and sat back and watched:
After that, we finally put a bucket on the bird table in the hope it will stop the little varmints:
I'm taking bets on how long I've got the better of them....