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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A visit to the Dales,red squirrels!

The middle of last monthI got the opportunity to visit  a large pine wood that held a good population of red squirrel!Not as common as they used to be due to contamination from grey`s it was a chance to get close to these small mammals.

A good offering of monkey nuts were scattered about the forest floor and it wasn`t long before the reds came down from their lofty perches!It seemed that they had had a good breeding season as the majority of squirrels seemed to be juveniles!

They are born without hair and blind in early summer and leave the drey after about 10 weeks!

Squirrels moult twice a year,in late summer and after winter,they also moult their ear tufts once.Their diet consists of spruce and pine cones,acorns,berries and funghi and cache their food in the autumn.The majority of the nuts we left out for them were immediately buried amongst the vegitation.

Ideal red squirrel habitat.the Squirrels here were helped along by a supplement of nuts and seeds provided by forest rangers.

Some of the young squirrels literally took peanuts from my hand.an amazing experience!!