My days of balcony birding may be nearing their end: this afternoon, I was sat at my computer, pecking through bird photos, when my neighbour came out on her balcony, looked directly into my apartment — directly at me! — and said “…a MESS!” Just that; nothing more. But it was plain what she was talking about. Clearly, some birds had gone and sat on her balcony, after using my feeder, and, ehh, left evidence of their passage. Now, I must point out, at this juncture, that I’m not entirely to blame. It’s spring. There are birds everywhere. They breed in the garden, and perch on everything in sight. Everybody’s balcony has bird lime on it, not just the ones round mine. But, yes, I acknowledge a bit of fault. I do encourage them to perch here.
At any rate, the moment was so awkward I had no idea what to say. I looked back at her, quite aghast; I hadn’t realised the building was designed such that people could peer directly into one another’s living rooms. It had never occurred to me to try such a thing. So I found myself gawking quite rudely, which I’m sure didn’t help, in the least.
I got out my long-handled mop, and cleared away what I could, from her railing (which was, I think, most of it) — but there were a couple of splotches I couldn’t get to. So I popped round and knocked on her door, meaning to offer my assistance in wiping up the rest, but nobody answered. I left a note. An awkward note. How could it be otherwise, given the circumstances? “Yeah, I noticed you looking in my window, complaining about the bird shit — shall I come over and take care of that, for you?” (That’s not quite what I wrote, of course; I certainly didn’t say “shit.”)
Thing is, there’s a chance she’ll get back to me with a counterproposal, namely, that I get rid of the feeder. And I don’t like to be a jackass; if that’s where she stands, I’ll have to comply. I’ll miss my birds terribly, of course. One can’t get so close to them, outside, especially the shy ones, like the finches. And I’ve been getting lots of finches, lately, far more than last year; don’t take my finches away, mess-hating neighbour lady!
At any rate, here are several finch shots, that I might remember them, if I’m made to give them up.
Relieved Update: the lady’s comment wasn’t about my birds, at all. The guy who actually lives there came over, and said it was his girlfriend who was on the balcony, and that the mess she was referring to was soil that came out of the planters because of all the rain. In fact, he thought I was mad at him for putting out a cashew for the birds, because he saw my mop coming across! Ha, ha! What a relief!