Country diary 1918: grey squirrels now firmly established in the UK

Photograph: Evan Dawson/Alamy

 

The morning mist yesterday screened from view much of the autumnal colour, but as it lifted we had, for once, a perfect October day, with moisture-glistening cobwebs stretched across the umber bracken and the scarlet or copper of the withering thorns. It is a long time now since we thought the last of the swifts had departed, yet it is less than a week since one was seen at Greenfield, where apparently it was successfully seeking food. Will this lonely traveller catch up those of its kind which left us so long ago? Who can tell? Every year some birds, tempted to linger by abundance of food, or too young and feeble to start when their companions leave, attempt the southward passage by themselves. Probably they do not know the way, but that strange impulse called, for lack of a better term, instinct sends them at any rate in the right direction.

Occasionally in these notes I have referred to the grey squirrels in Dunham Park. I do not know if there has been any recent introduction of these attractive but somewhat destructive little Americans, but if not they are fairly firmly established, for a friend tells me that one morning last week he counted no fewer than seven amongst the falling leaves. Unless they are bolder and consequently more in evidence than our native red squirrel it would appear that they are rapidly taking the place of the older residents.

Photo : The Guardian
Source :

the guardian

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