PMRGCAuk
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Personal battle turning into a War!

No not the GCA today! It's me & Mr Squirrel!! Clever cute little sod he is. Driving me demented! Tip toes along washing line, hangs upside by tail & sucks out the sunflower hearts. Ahh! He can't chew the metal to bits like last years plastic but believe me he is a member of the hairy MENSA! Two coconut halves have been nicked. (must nail them to the fence next year). A tub of margarine has been eaten. Think he's steroidal with that appetite!! Course there could be more than one! Ahh. Up against a whole army am I! Sounds familiar. ATB.

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You have my sympathy, we don't have squirrels but do have a pair of wood pigeons and some magpies eat everything they do. Flying rats we call them. 😡

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Yes the Woodies, the beautiful Billy Bunters of the bird world. Other birds feel safer with them around though! Magpies. Very clever raiders quick to spot anything.

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Agree about magpies. Mafia of the bird world. Strut about in DJs, looking impressive, but eliminate all competition. Destroy all my blackbirds' nests, every year.

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I love watching the squirrels. Last year our council felled a magnificent beech tree in front of my house 🙁 (diseased) so I have been feeding the squirrels to ensure they stay, despite there being no beech nuts for them now.

I fed the birds until the cat came along and ate the birds! The fox used to eat the fat I put out for them, and the little b..... took the mesh containers too! So now I feed the fox as well! I have 2 dogs, so supper time sees 3 bowls of food prepared, and after dark I put the foxes dish out on the wall. On a sunny day she’ll sunbathe on the wall, so she repays her meal cost as I love to see her.

Have solved the bird feeding issue, a 12 foot scaffolding pole with hooks at the top. Only issue is I need a step ladder to refill the containers, but even the cat can’t scale a 12 foot metal pole!

Also 2 Herring gulls which will feed from my hand. The cat leaves them alone now, after a severe bum pecking!

"Leisure" by W. H. Davies:

WHAT is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?— No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass: No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night: No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance: No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

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Love this 😍 but the thought of you climbing up to fill the feeders 😨

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Hubby will do it if I look pathetic enough! Which, let’s face it, is not difficult!

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😌

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We have Baron Von Nibbles. Cocky little so and so, especially after our dog Tilly had to be put to sleep recently. He now knows there is no (mis)guided dog rocket to bear down on him any time soon. Every feeding foray is like a lazy Sunday morning. He plants all the bird food after stuffing his cute little face. I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t cost a fortune and I didn’t end up harvesting it later. Too. I hope time on my hands I think.

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It's the beauty of it SnazzyD. We had our Jack Russell rocket too. Sadly gone last year. Yep. Those seeds get everywhere. Worth every moment though.

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Have you noticed the keywords on your post????????????????????????

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I hadn’t, thanks for pointing them out. Most amusing. Connected? No way! Squirrel disease?

Thanks for the giggle.

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😂😂😂 it's as bad as my autocorrect

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The squirrel that used to sit outside my attic window deciding whether to jump through the velux window has gone missing for last two years.

I daren't feed birds because it kept the rats and mice in titbits that fell on the ground.

I would rather have the squirrel than the horrid violent mAgpies. The poor blackbirds were defending their nests with their lives.

May I suggest a child's nerf gun that fires the foam "bullets". Not enough to cause damage but certainly scared mAgpies away for a while.

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We also have a water gun, the type you fill and pump up with air so that the water travels quite far and scares those damned magpies away! 💥💣 I see them trying to get into the nests to steal eggs and baby birds. Makes me see red.

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Nature - red in tooth and claw...

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Indeed, nature is nature but the bluetits get my support any day against those magpies 😊

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Oh definitely - we have loads of magpies here, often see 4 or more together.

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Out for lunch on Saturday had lovely view overlooking a park. Counted 11 magpies at the same time!! Most I have ever seen together. The wee magpie rhyme doesn't even go up that far...

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Oh yes one does!

britishbirdlovers.co.uk/art...

And 11 is for HEALTH...

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HEALTH!! How very appropriate Good health of course 😉 Love it

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Love the bluetits they clear all the aphids off the roses. 😁

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If your roses are plagued by aphids, plant a garlic clove near the base of the rose. It works! (And it doesn’t make the rose smell of garlic!)

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I share your pain re coconut husks. I’ve given up. Squirrels simply bite through the string, drag them across the garden and bury them in the patio pots or hanging baskets, ready for the winter feast! It doesn’t matter if the suet husks are full and heavy the little monsters still manage to drag them up the fence in their mouths! It’s quite funny watching them try to bury them and pat them down - doesn’t do much for the plants though! 🐿

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Chicken wire over all bulb pots. Squirrels capable to still get at the bulbs though on previous experience! Maybe they have poor memory too judging by the holes in the lawn! Lucky to have the contest we are.

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The last 2 to 3 years there haven't been the squirrels that I usually see in the wooded areas around me. We used to call one place squirrel corner because regularly saw 10 and one of dogs used to lamely chase them. The autumn we didn't see a ONE. Made us wonder if there was a disease attacking them in the wild. They were my even there to pull all the chestnuts off.

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Many greys in our city parks. Lucky to be south side of Brum. with it's great outdoors. (Thanks to Cadbury's & other benefactors). A Jack Russell delight it is. Rarely they ever get them though! (ours did once) Local purple hazel is the big puller for much burying.

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Yes I live in Sheffield and the industrialists did at least ensure we have some green now with trees parks and formal gardens.

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I hope you are part of the save the trees campaign Poopadoop. We are not going to be a green city if the council carry on with their dreadful policy of chopping down perfectly healthy mature trees via the company Amey. The wood nets them tens of thousands. It is really upsetting.

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They came and chopped down the only tree directly in my street...not many in my area. I went out to give them a mouthful. Unfortunately the tree was full of fungus. When I had a close look there were thousands of holes all round the trunk. They gave it a poke and it all crumbled. So I had to bite my tongue about that tree as it was 8ft from my neighbours house. I miss the tree.. but not the mAgpie that roosted there.

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Well done you. We feel under siege in Netheredge. Perfectly respectable people having their names blackened in the Star. We’ve put up bat boxes on threatened trees as they are a protected species. People are being so creative, but there seems to be a horrible inevitability about it all.

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Are old trees replaced?

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They have replaced 30 old trees with more new ones in one place which did appease me as on a central grass on dual carriageway. I understand new trees better for that kind of environment. It's the fact they seem to be just taking them to sell the timber. If there is a reason like disease or danger I can accept the rationale but for financial benefit is terrible reason.

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Quite agree. My cousin had an ancient tree on the corner of his property. It was protected and he wasn't allowed to cut it down although there were a number of reasons it should not be so close to his house. I think eventually it got diseased, or possibly poisoned by something in the environment, which rendered the wood unusable but did mean the tree could come down. But to remove perfectly good trees gratuitously from public property seems criminal.

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My neighbour was really happy because it would have smashed through her front window if it had fallen. She said she had to redecorate front room because the extra light made it look grubby lol.

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A hurricane here a few years ago put paid to a lot of older trees, including ones along our street. I note that the city doesn't seem to have made any effort to replace them. But when we first moved to our house we requested a tree. They put us on a list. And years later, long after we'd forgotten our request, they planted a crabapple at the curb. A neighbour seemed quite miffed and asked us why we got a tree and they didn't, so I explained, I don't know if they ever asked for a tree, but they still don't have one. I speculated that one year they had some leftover trees from other projects and our name had finally got to the top of this list. Our community prides itself on its "urban forest". :)

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I live in a part of town that has rows of terraced housing so only have 4 feet from the front door to the pavement and road. There are rows of leylandi at the side of the main road but mature deciduous trees are more spread than other parts of the city where there are beautiful tree lined pavements. I live 10-15 mins from the peak national park so get to see lots of green. The park authorities have started destroying all the rhodedendrons and are trying to replant deciduous trees instead of firs to get the area back to its old self after of hundreds of years of development and management based on expired ideas. I miss the colour of the flowers of Rhodies but nothing grows around them so can see how they are a problem.

My main pastime if I get out into the peaks is foraging for the soft fruits. I don't like blackberries but like to hunt out the wild raspberries and bilberries. The chestnuts can be good if the squirrels don't get them all. And we are back to squirrels!!

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Unfortunately something killed off most of the sweet chestnuts in North America probably eighty or ninety years ago, so here all we get are horse chestnuts. But sugar maple can give a wonderful display of colour in autumn. Too bad someone introduced Norway maple, which is a weed tree here, and has caused us nothing but grief in a little wooded area behind our house. Shame about the rhododendrons, but hopefully restoring a natural ecosystem will be worth that particular loss.

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What kind of squirrels give you problems? We have little red squirrels here. I never see many. Our bane is now raccoons, and a coyote was sighted on our street one evening! I hope he was hunting raccoons. At certain times of year deer come into the city. Of course we are invading their habitat with incessant suburban growth.

In Ontario there are huge black squirrels, ubiquitous.

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We mainly have Gray squirrels left now. The indigenous red squirrel was pushed to its limit by them and destruction of their environment. I have only seen a couple of red squirrels well into the wild and they live in small pockets of the country. It's a bit like crayfish. The adopted American crayfish has had a big impAct on our indigenous ones. You never know once the peak forests have been managed well the squirrels might be introduced. They have successfully re-introduced wolves in Scotland after years and years without.

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Hi Poop. The wild Rhodedendrons are a host to a tree pathogen. They are taking out these & Larch in our local Lickey Hills. Also trying to restore Bilberry heathland. Going to be a big battle with the Blackberry & Bracken!

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Peak authorities have written to home owners within there area to get rid of rhodies too. They are very strict lol

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Same in Brum. As a tree lover I totally understand. Have to say many wrong specie trees were planted years ago & their roots are now heaving up pavements & need lots of expensive maintenance. Particularly Limes, Ash & Chestnut. There are now better smaller cultivars to fit in. Always a place for a majestic tree though.

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Ash die back seemed to hit the entire valley in autumn 2016 but looks like they survived.

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Current squirrel how about some distracting nits fast array from the washing line. X

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I put a tiny fake bush with fake berries on it in the plant pot next to my front door. To my horror I notice that all the plastic berries have gone. I sincerely hope that I haven’t killed any song birds. Stupid, stupid I never thought.

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Same with our fake holly wreath on the front door over Christmas. The blackbirds confused it with the cotoneaster. Kept flying into the door. Dangerous stuff this plastic.

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I so enjoyed reading these posts re squirrels, birds etc as I am a bird lover and I must say it costs more to feed them each day than it does to feed me! I have a delivery of different varieties of seeds each month and separately buy suet pellets, fat balls and peanuts and then mix them (excluding the fat balls and peanuts) into a big tub to save time as I have a bird table at the front which I get loads of enjoyment from as my front window is a French window with great view of that table, then I have one at the back next to a wall where our "resident" pair of Pheasants watch and wait for any scraps, then the other feeders on the lilac hedge to the side. Such varieties of birds and such a joy when the same Blackbirds arrive back after their jaunt to wherever they go and breed their little ones. D

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Hi Dot,

Yep...know where you’re coming from re cost of bird food! But like you it’s worth it, just to see them. My hubby used to love watching them as well, always did/do the Big Bird Watch every year - missed it this year as away - so will have to coax the birds back in when I get back home.

Have to say though, the numbers have decreased over the years unfortunately - a lot of that is down to the dratted Magpie - now deemed a protected species! Although they are beautiful birds, they are the predators of so many song birds, along with the pet cats - but best not go there!

Keep watching 😊

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Mad how much we spend on bird food but cheap at twice the price for the enjoyment it brings. Sounds like you have a wonderful selection of birds to watch. 2 years ago we had goldfinches visit our garden for the first time ever. Duly went off to buy nyger seed feeders which has paid off well because they stayed last winter and this. Beautiful wee birds 😍

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Too true I don't mind the cost at all as the pleasure far outweighs it. I have a variety of different seeds in 1kg bags each month and that is why I get the lovely variety of birds. I felt really sorry for them last night as we had at least a couple of hours non stop heavy rain. They were not around at 8 o'clock this morning when I went to feed so probably still drying out. I have one particular Robin who is normally there waiting on the bird table and practically takes it out of my hand before I get it put down but it wasn't there this morning. Can't wait for the Spring and lighter nights when it is good to sit outside with a cool lager and just listen to the bird song and chattering - better than any Meds for relaxing! 😴

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I live in rain battered West of Scotland so wee birds here need all the help they can get. Had a lot of snow this winter too so we've been out clearing patches of grass to put seed down and shaking snow off the feeders. Work work work haha 🐦

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My big squirrel bullies the two smaller ones, uses physical force to knock them off the fence and the feeding boxes. Having finished off the available food he heads for the bird feeders. His prowess at taking a quantum leap is matchless. Daniel Craig, eat your heart out!

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Yes they have an amazing leap. Hardly ever unbalanced on landing. Never seen a native red one though.

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They dig up garden bulbs as well,l have to cover Up containers of tulips and crocuses etc, otherwise they just dig them out and hide or eat them.

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I was once heading to the basement to do laundry and I thought "Sparky (our cat) is acting weird"; however, as I got closer I realized that it wasn't Sparky but a black squirrel. OH and I tried to shoosh it up the stairs and out our back door to no avail. We called the Humane Society and they sent someone out, but he forgot to bring a net with him so his advice was to keep the back door wide open and eventually he'd leave. HA! Our property line was that with a very large wooded city park and we could see this little guy inviting his friends in for a party. My OH replied, "I have a better idea: when you leave, I'm getting the gun out." Humane Society: "You can't do that, black squirrels are 'protected' in the city". OH: "No one will know, I'll put the silencer on it". Humane Society guy left and returned with a net. Oh my, the commotion on catching that little guy - he was NOT happy, but he was caught and released. And we both had a good laugh in that there was no gun, neither of us had even touched a gun, and the squirrel lived to tell another day, just not in our basement.

But I also love watching them -- even when they are hanging upside down and maneuvering the bird feeder to their advantage.

Fun post!

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Just picturing the Humane society guys face 😂😂

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This mad me laugh... but I have no idea why!!!! : )

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Do you mean 'the personal battle turning into a war' headline or the Humane Society guys face? The furry monster really wound me up this morning. Nearly broke my neck rushing out to head him off. Sure he gave me the finger as he fled.

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Hahahaha! I'm loving the mental images that my warped, little mind is conjuring up!!!

I have visions of you, all squinty eyed, peering out the window, through your Marine Night vision binoculars, with Nitehawk camouflage face paint, scrawled on your cheeks; dressed in loosely fitted army fatigues! ...and as you slowly scan the perimeter and his little furry body comes into focus, he slowly, but quite deliberately, gives you the finger!

HYSTERICAL!

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Ah. you know me well! Except for the loose fitting fatigues. Everything fits like a drainpipe now! I'll try & get a photo. Just need someone to help dig a trench!!

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Oh yes, squirrels... so adorable when viewed romping through the trees, but not so welcome when they manage to chew their way into your building. In late 2016 I had one get into my loft. The immediate inconvenience was being kept awake by it galloping around all night. However the worst was when it chewed on an electrical wire, killing itself. Admittedly I did get a reprieve from the noise, but on the other hand a couple of evenings I went into my bedroom and saw a cascade of maggots falling from around the light fitting and ending up squirming on my bed. The the lights failed. The vermin man, who looked a bit too fond of a kebab and a pint, went up and said he couldn't find the corpse. However the nice young Romanian electrician who mended the lights will always be my hero. I heard him shriek and guessed what he's come across, but he asked me for a plastic bag and disposed of it for me - definitely not part of his job. I gave him a load of Christmas chocolate and beer and even considered remembering him in my will. There were various other problems going on in my life at the time and I seriously think it was all that mental stress that led to me acquiring GCA and PMR 3 months later.

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What an incredible sequence of events Marijo. They can dangerous little blighters when cornered. It must have lit up like a light bulb when chewing through the wire. Made me smile that! Perhaps there's some justice in the universe after all! Hope things are improving for yourself.

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I can't grow any flowers from bulbs in my tiny back patch. Squirrels dig them up and leave them half chewed. Last autumn I got someone else to plant them really deeply for me but they still got them. Grrr!

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You are not alone. Lots of suggestions on internet, I though this page looked helpful:

thespruce.com/protecting-bu...

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Thanks for that , though I did try chicken wire a couple of years back but they managed to dislodge it. I agree with the article about aliums but my squirrels must be particularly omniverous as everything else listed seems to vanish. I shall have to have recourse to pots of daffodils again!

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They are a destructive lot. I visited my aunt and uncle in Nottingham some years back and watched a squirrel as it raided a pear tree. The main problem was the animal would pick a pear, take one bite, then move on and pick another. My uncle said if they would just eat the whole fruit instead of destroying ten each time it wouldn't be so bad. In Ontario my daughter was excited to have an apartment with a small garden and completely let down when all the tomatoes and other potential vegetables were eaten. We found a squirrel proof idea for a vegetable garden, basically a cage even the top made of wire, and I think she may consider doing something like this. But of course no good for an ornamental garden.

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