Sometimes you just get lucky.
A few days ago I happened to be looking at the website of a local wildlife photographer, Derek Bilton, and saw some very impressive photos of red squirrels. I therefore emailed and asked him where he’d taken them. He told me they were part of the Berwick Hill colony, and gave me instructions on how to get there. “Take some food”, he said, “and when you get there you’ll see some logs. Place the food there, retreat and wait. You may have to wait about half an hour.”
So, after three heavy days of the “Death & Dying” block module, I decided I needed some refreshment, and headed out there.
I found the logs exactly as Derek described, placed the nuts and seed on the logs – you see, all that training I gained by feeding the greys in Durham has been put to good use! – and then retreated. I settled in to wait for half an hour or so.
A couple of minutes later a red bundle of fur bounced into view. It settled at the bottom of a tree trunk. After a bit of activity I decided to try photographing it. On the third shot, as I was pressing the shutter, a second squirrel came down the trunk and into view!
I was then entertained for the next half hour by three squirrels, feeding, running, chasing each other at high speed, and dashing up and down tree trunks. The nuts and seed were obviously to their liking. Having never seen red squirrels before, I was amazed to have such a wonderful first encounter with them.