Tuesday 25 October 2011

Red Squirrels Return

Until six years ago red squirrels used to visit the bird feeders in our garden regularly. So often in fact that we started to take them for granted. Then they suddenly stopped coming. And we missed them. Just once, four years ago, a single squirrel appeared for a few weeks but since then not one has appeared. So it was with great delight and excitement that my partner arrived at my study door to announce that there was a squirrel on a nut feeder. Work abandoned I dashed to a window to see it hanging on the wire of the feeder and nibbling the peanuts. Again I was amazed at the agility and the ability to eat in any position, even stretched out with the head down.

The sky was overcast with a gusty wind and the feeder was swaying to and fro, not ideal for photography. However this being the first squirrel in so many years I took some handheld shots through the window, which I didn't approach too closely for fear of scaring it away - the feeder is only a few feet in front of the house.

For those interested I used my Canon 450D camera with 55-250 zoom lens. The ISO was 1600 and the settings 1/60@f5.6. Raw files processed in Lightroom.


  1. Wonderful Chris, and very special to have them visit your garden. Walking into Braemar one morning recently, one nipped across the main road and up into the trees.

    It didn't go too high and stared directly down at us for several minutes. Ideal for a photograph - but we hadn't brought the camera! Lesson learned.


  2. Chris, those are pretty sharp images for a shot taken at 1/60th on ISO 1600; particularly through a zoom.

    Were you focussing manually?

  3. No, auto focusing. I tried to focus on the squirrel's eye. The 55-250 lens does have image stabilisation, which helps.

  4. Excellent.
    Also nice to have the photo info back again :-)

  5. Aww brilliant. I saw a Black one a fortnight ago in Bavaria. :-)

  6. we have so many squirrels around here and are not allowed to feed them. We get alot of black ones too.


  7. We have them here (at Kiltarlity/Boblainy Forest) and they started visiting the garden regularly about 4 years ago.

    I had one come to the bird peanut feeder outside my kitchen window for the past two winters. I've built an new squirrel nut box and put it up a couple of weeks ago, but they've not used it yet.

  8. How lucky you are to have contact with such beautiful creatures like squirrels, sometimes these meetings remind us how perfect and beautiful nature is and how important it is to care. In my window sometimes arrives a canary very beautiful and fortunately it made the nest there so I can see it constantly.