Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cats Visitor

Cat spotted this cheeky Squirrel yesterday. He had ran along the retaining wall then shimmied up the bird feeder station before sitting on the seed feeder. He has an enormously fluffy tail.

We had never seen any Squirrels in the garden for the whole time we have been here. He is a grey Squirrel. He sat breaking open Sunflower seeds with his sharp incisors. Like cracking Brazil nuts at Christmas. I found the broken husks filling the bowl..

Here in the Uk there is some ambivelance towards the Grey Squirrel. They were introduced 130 years ago from America into a park in Cheshire, and then in other places released. They have colonised most of the UK with 3 million Greys now. They carry a virus which has killed the native Red Squirrel off, and pushed it to pockets of the UK. There are about 140,000 Red Squirrels in the Uk in places like Cumbria and Scotland.

The Squirrel is so successfull they were being culled before. Now attempts are being made to prevent Greys from encroaching into areas of Reds. The scientists are still looking for a vaccine for the squirrel virus.
He must have smelt the Sunflower seeds and bird seeds. I must admit I enjoyed seeing him come down from the trees to feed. I read as well that if one comes then soon after more Squirrels move into exploit the food source.
He reminds me of Scratt from Ice Age...Sci u rus carolinensis


Anonymous said...

They are big pest in my garden. They eat everything including baby birds and ripe and ready fruit. They recently decimated the lily pads in the small pond. Somehow we manage to endure them for we also have hawks that prey upon them. Can you tell, I'm not a fan?

David (Snappy) said...

Hi Donna, at least you have Hawks to try to control there numbers.The one Squirrel has not done any major damage yet, but give them time...

Gardenista said...

Squirrels are cute, but can be pesty. Somehow, mine don't bother me, but we live in the wild anyhow, so they have no shortage of food and habitat. I even give them gifts of old non-blooming bulbs and they don't take them!