Every year at my woodland hide the population of red squirrels switches around. Some squirrels roam looking for new territories, some stay, and some new ones move in. This year was slightly different; all four red squirrels we had have left, and have been replaced by two younger squirrels and one new adult. Unfortunately this means Lucky, featured previously on the blog, has disappeared and I am unlikely to ever know what did become of him.
The younger squirrels are called Stripe and Blondie. Here is an image of Stripe taken today at the hide, posing nicely on a log.
I love to see how the behaviour of a young red squirrel differs so greatly from that of an adult. There are many little differences, the most obvious of which being that the kittens find it very difficult to open hazelnuts and shred them instead of splitting them into two neat halves. They also seem to bury the hazelnuts right next to where they pick them up, whereas the adults venture far from the hide area to bury them.
Now I have finally finished school, I am taking a gap year before going to university to study zoology. This has given me a lot of time for photography - so before I leave for my Cambodia expedition later this year, I am going to be fitting in as much photography in the UK as possible.
One of my first pictures since finishing my exams was of a redpoll fighting with a juvenile siskin, a shot which I am very pleased with as woodland birds are challenging to capture in photographs at the best of times.
I am also considering trying out some "jumping" red squirrel images at the hide now. This is a project I will be looking into over the next week or so, and hopefully I will get some good results if I do go ahead with it.
As always, you can come and see the red squirrels for yourself.