Page 11 - EGO Magazine January 2020
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 01970 615400    Nature Notes By
       David Williams                                           known to raid fruit grown in the garden

                                                                particularly strawberries. They are even
                                                                partial to tomatoes if nothing else takes
                                                                their fancy.
                                                                  If you look closely, grey squirrels
                   ne of the most   over the years. As I say frequently at   aren’t only grey. They have brown fur
                   successful evasive   this time of the year, make sure water is   around the face, by the white under fur
 Open Mon-Sat from   species in the UK is   available for all of the creatures which   and in the tail. The grey areas are seen on
 10am at:          the grey squirrel. They  visit our gardens. In many ways, it’s more  their backs and tail tips. Their tails tend
                                    important than food.
                                                                to be larger in urban areas where there is
                   were first imported
 Unit 25    Oin the 1870s from       Squirrels regularly bury food in   less predation.
 Glanyrafon Ind. Est.    America as exotic additions to country   stashes, they can sometimes leave   Greys communicate via many different
 Aberystwyth     estates. They have now sadly displaced   several thousand stashes on their patch.   calls as well as posturing, tail flicking
 SY23 3JQ   the native red squirrel in most of the   Some birds, particularly crows, observe   and facial expressions. We mostly hear
 (opposite tip)  UK. The greys can live in the wild for   where squirrels bury their food and   the kuk quaa call signalling a predator
       between 5 and 10 years especially where   dig it up as soon as it has been left. In   in the area. That’s us walking through
       food is abundant. Over 6 years though is   some cases, the observers are fooled   their territory. It’s a vocalisation heard
                                    as a squirrel will mimic the burying of
                                                                frequently on my woodland walks.
 Resolve to get back on 2 wheels in 2020!     an exception in many areas.  food while secreting it further inside   These mammals, love them or
         Squirrels are the only mammal which
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                                    to nuts. They also like fruit, new tree
                                                                environments so well since their
       this because of having remarkable joint
       movement in their hind legs. They   shoots and young birds. They have been   introduction that they are here to stay.
       can rotate their ankles through 180
       degrees in order to grip on to the tree
       when descending. Their tree dexterity
       may be seen this month as they
       near their first mating period. Grey
       squirrels will be seen in their mating
       chase where the female is chased by
       one or more males. This scurrying
       begins as soon as she becomes
       receptive. Females can have two litters
       a year, one during the winter and
       another about six months later. The
       female does all of the nurturing.
         Early spring is the time when
       squirrels are at their most vulnerable
       as their food stocks will be running
       low. The next crop of berries and
       seeds won’t be seen for a while.
 FORMED BY THE UK  Bird feeders are raided regularly
       throughout the year and more so
 Open  Mon -  Sat from 10am at: Unit  25,    when their food stocks are getting
       low. They, like birds, also appreciate
 Glanyrafon Ind. Est, Aberystwyth.  SY23 3JQ.    a water supply. I have caught many
 (opposite tip)  squirrels drinking at the bird bath
 01970 615400
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