Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Red Squirrels

A population of red squirrels is clinging on in the woodland surrounding Wallington Hall, a National Trust property in mid-Northumberland. If you are lucky, you can see them almost anywhere in the woodland but the best views are from the observation hide in the West Woods. Here they come to glean the sunflower seeds and peanuts dropped by birds visiting the feeders.

Today, there are only three seed feeders at the observation hide; the bird table and all the other feeders, including some very large peanut feeders fastened to the trees, have been removed. Recent thinking suggests that if feeders are used by both red and grey squirrels they can be responsible for spreading the squirrel-pox virus which is fatal to the reds.

The two red squirrels I watched on Sunday were finding easy pickings amongst the wasted bird food under one of the feeders. My friend Harold took this beautiful picture of one of the reds sitting amongst the grass to the side of the feeders, and I would like to thank him for sharing it here ...

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Red squirrels survive in woodlands throughout Northumberland. You can read more about their protection here.

5 comments:

kirstallcreatures said...

That's good to know Emma. We don't see any down here in Leeds, so we may well head up to Wallington next time we're in the North East. Linda

Roy said...

Lovely to see the Reds Emma, that is a beautiful shot, thanks for posting that.

The Abbot said...

It is always rewarding to catch a glimpse of a Red Squirrel. My last sighting was up in the Lake District at an Osprey Watch.

Alcester nature photography. said...

Great shot. I hoping to see some of these when we go and stop with friends in the Isle Of Wight. Bye the way I really love Northumberland, we had a great familly holiday in Alnmouth a couple of years back.

Midmarsh John said...

A Brilliant photo. I love the way they hold their food. It looks a lot more photogenic than the greys we have round here.