In praise of... squirrel acrobatics

Last month our resident birdwatcher took part in the RSPB national survey of birds in gardens. As a result, she decided we had too few birds in our garden, and the best way to attract more was to entice them with food. And so it came to pass that our garden is now festooned with several bird feeders laden with bird food and fat balls, and in only a few days there has already been a noticeable increase in feathered visitors. From my office I can now see two feeders hanging from the verandah, with a regular clientele of blue tits and robins swooping and swinging and happily enjoying their new restaurant.

Of course, a consequence of feeding the birds is that you also attract opportunistic squirrels, with the acrobatic skills and determination to bypass most of our squirrel-proofing attempts, and scare off as much feathered competition as possible. The verandah feeders are completely inaccessible, but even so, the occasional squirrel scuttles hopefully along, seemingly pondering options, before sloping off again. There are richer pickings to be had further down the garden, even with a well-greased pole.

The pole, though, is the least of the squirrels' problems, and we've been enjoying watching some amazing acrobatics. Triumphant yet hampered by the need to grasp nuts in their paws, they dangle at improbable angles, claws clinging fiercely, tails swinging furiously like a kind of bushy rudder, before losing the battle with gravity and dropping to the ground. Undeterred, they return to try again, occasionally striking lucky. Watching it, I was reminded of an amusing advert from the late 1980s, using the original theme music to Mission: Impossible. Except that, as far as squirrels and food are concerned, no mission is ever impossible, and we need to keep greasing that pole...


  1. Lol! :) There must be lof of fun now in your garden ;)


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