A robin has found its perfect perch in a crockery shop – a mug covered in pictures of a robin.
The feathered visitor has settled on its own china mug – and now drinks out of it on its regular visits.
Owner Trish Sargent was surprised when the redbreast hopped into the shop for the first time last month.
It became so accustomed to spending time in the busy country store, it wasn’t even disturbed by the Christmas shoppers who flocked to the converted farm barn at Ashbocking, near Ipswich, Suffolk.
Trish said: ‘The robin appeared in the barn and began following me around.
Gradually, it began to accept tiny crumbs of bread and when I went upstairs to my office it followed. Now, it arrives most days and settles on its own mug on my desk, which is covered in images of a robin. It is as if the bird recognises a familiar face.
‘It has become a firm favourite. I know that according to folklore it is unlucky to let a robin inside – but this one is so friendly that it has become part of the family and we couldn’t bear to shoo it away.
‘A lot of customers ask about it.’
Save birds from icy winter, urges RSPB
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has warned that thousands of robins could perish over the next few weeks in what is forecast to be the coldest winter for decades.
Now the charity wants people to leave out extra food to help them survive the plunging temperatures. It says robins need to eat almost half their body weight every day to survive the winter.
Lee Hollingsworth, an RSPB wildlife adviser, said: ‘By putting food out, you greatly increase their chances of survival.’