Morning and night, in all weathers, David Kerry meets up with a wood pigeon he saved from certain death.
As he taps a spoon against the side of a cereal bowl, his pal Pooper swoops in to greet him.
Retired engineer David, from Victory Road, Blackpool, had been following the progress of the hatchling in a nest in his neighbour’s garden, when the nest was blown out of a tree.
The five-day-old squab landed on a patch of soft soil in his backyard.
Abandoned by its parents, David and his wife Elina took the tiny bird under their wings and set about hand-rearing him watching online videos to find out how to go about it.
“He was about three inches long, we made him a nest in an empty butter carton to keep it warm.
“I started feeding it Weetabix mixed with water, but found out how to make a porridge from mix of seed and I made a feeding bottle using the finger of a rubber glove as a teat.
“In a week he doubled in size and kept on growing from 50 grams to 350 grams in four weeks. “As he started to grow wing feathers, he’d sit on my shoulder and go for walks in the yard.
“As he got stronger and started flapping his wings I pick him up and launch him, from a low height, until he could fly,” said David.
“Then he’d fly round the house going from room to room with me, we had to put covers on everything. That’s why we called him Pooper.
“He liked to sit on the sofa and watch TV, tilting his head to listen to the voices.
“At night he’d roost on the landing, we had to keep the bedroom door shut or he’d have been in with us!
“When he got to five weeks, and was getting more independent, I released him in the park.”
In the four weeks since, David has been returning to the 200-acre Stanley Park twice a day to feed him, take him water and spend time with him.
“Sometimes he’s waiting for me, but if he isn’t I only have to tap a spoon on my bowl, which rings like a bell, and he flies in. We have about an hour together before I go home.
“Elina often comes with me, she would feed him and look after him at home when I went out to play golf.
“It’s nice to know that he (or, of course, he maybe she) is all right.
“I know that when he becomes an adult, he’ll probably have other things on his mind and won’t be interested in me but until then I’ll keep coming back.”
By Elizabeth Gomm