Thursday, 1 May 2008

Red Squirrel

We are so lucky seeing Red Squirrel in our garden every single day. For the past few days our regular Red visitor has been a different animal to the one we've mostly seen in the last month. Hard to explain how we knew it was different, I am going to have to get better at specifics like "less grey in its tail" or "longer ear tufts", but one difference with this Squirrel is its behaviour at the feeder. This animal actually sits and eats the hazelnuts rather than the usual over-active planting!

We're now wondering (and this is pure speculation) whether this is our female squirrel who has been absent for the best part of a month, possibly nursing kittens somewhere. The picture above gives a glimpse of its white belly. Looking back to the squirrel photo here, Chris at the Red Squirrel Project has told me this is a male squirrel; females have pairs of nipples under all of the belly, what is seen in the other photo is "squirrel maleness". That is not visible in the picture above - so is it Mum?

We draw this unscientific conclusion because yesterday morning this tiny little chap (or chapess) spent a good few minutes scampering around exploring the garden outside our bedroom window. Pretty damn amazing for 7.57am! Squirrel tend to have litters of 2 or 3, but there can be 6 kittens - I wonder if we will see others. In this great file at the sos website is an annual timeline for Reds and our sighting of this baby fits the timescale perfectly.

Because the pictures are cropped it might not be obvious that the body of this squirrel is about half/two-thirds the size of the others we see, the railing is 9cm deep. Click on the picture and look at the size of its toes and claws!

(private note to a regular Bag End visitor: Thank you James! The posting time is correct, insomnia strikes)


  1. Test comment to prove that Rachel doesn't have to sign up for a Google/Blogger account.

  2. I'm glad you liked the squirrel. Looking forward to plenty more pictures of the reds.

  3. What a cutie! Bet he'd have your broad beans though. Someone's supposed to have seen a grey pinching the young plants at our allotment site. Might swap a few bean plants for a red though!


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