Friday 4 July 2014

Squirrels & Birds & Rain

Heavy rain, low cloud, strong winds. Not a day for the hills. A day for desk work and watching the increasingly bedraggled wildlife in the garden through the rain-spattered windows. Several squirrels came and continued their slow but steady destruction of the wire mesh nut feeders so they can extract peanuts and sit on the supporting beam to eat them. Seeing them regularly we can now distinguish between individuals. Some have tufty ears, some no tufts at all, like this one. Coats may be dark or pale, redder or browner. Tails are often very different too - light or dark, thin or thick, smooth or, as with this squirrel, magnificently fluffy.

Other than the squirrels the main interest in peanuts comes from the great spotted woodpeckers. These visit every day but so far haven't brought any youngsters.

The seed feeder is emptying every day however, the main visitors being greenfinches though it also attracts chaffinches and siskins. The birds we don't see much of this time of year are the great, coal and blue tits - there are plenty of insects for them in the woods. One great tit flew in briefly today but that was all. The young robins that have been bobbing about recently kept out of sight as did the regular ground-feeding dunnocks, maybe deciding that sheltering from the weather was a good idea.


  1. What a magnificent little fella! Great capture, Chris! If you want to make them happy, plant some beech trees (you probably have them already around your house). In the autumn they feast on the seeds and they store them away everywhere. I have to say, to me it's a tough call between ptarmigan and red squirrel for my iconic national animal! I wonder about the tufts, if it is to do with age, sex or just genes. And I wonder if they find tufts sexy or what!

  2. I love his light color tail and pants, so cute!!!