Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wet Woody and The Dark Intruder


A couple of days ago, you know the one, when it rained!  A Wood Pigeon settled on my shed roof looking in a bit of a state (the Pigeon, not the shed roof!  Although my wife’s favourite saying at the moment is “you know that shed roof will need fixing soon”) anyway as I said, the Pigeon looked in a bit of a state I think it possibly had had a bit of a run in with a car or maybe the local feline.

It sat on the shed in the rain for about two hours looking very fed up and occasionally shaking the water from its head. Eventually it moved to the top of the bird table where it sat for another half hour or so with the rain bouncing off its head, allowing me to go outside in slippers and t-shirt and with the camera covered in a tea towel, to take some close-up pictures.

It’s a good job the neighbours were all at work and couldn’t see me wandering around the garden getting wetter and wetter taking pictures of a thoroughly fed up Pigeon!
The good news is that it eventually it moved onto the bird table proper and started to feed on the seed and the next day it was back in the garden feeding as normal, if still looking a bit dishevelled.

While out walking in the woods the other day I encountered something that I had only seen briefly twice before, both times whilst I was driving the car and couldn't stop.........Black Squirrels!

There are a couple of theories as to where the Black Squirrel came from. One is that it is a mutation of our native Grey Squirrel (having excessive quantities of the black pigment melanin) and the other theory is that native American Black Squirrels were introduced to Woburn Park Bedfordshire at the end of the last century by the then Duke of Bedford and that they promptly jumped the wall and escaped.

I don't know which one is correct but now that I know where I can find them I will go back some time and see if I can get some better quality photos.


holdingmoments said...

That poor pigeon does look a bit fed up Trevor. Still, he gave you some cracking shots.

There's quite a large number of Black Squirrels at Letchworth, and also at Woburn Deer Park, close to the main road.
I reckon the second theory is correct :)

The Herald said...

Cheers Keith. The Pigeon seemed a bit shocked but appeared to be fine and happily feeding the next day :)

The Squirrels were very fast and flighty and kept their distance. Maybe better shots next time though!

Linda said...

We have black squirrels in our neighborhood. I believe they are a mutation of the Eastern Gray Squirrel. The black squirrel seems to be more aggressive than other squirrels because we have only gray and black now. Other squirrels have moved out. They are pretty, though, and I enjoy watching them.

The Herald said...

Hi Linda. The Eastern Grey Squirrel came here from the U.S. in the late 19th century and I`m afraid that they are notorious for displacing our native Red Squirrels by out competing them for food and also carrying a deadly virus that only effects the Red. There are only a few isolated pockets of Reds left in the U.K. now. (I’ve never seen a ‘wild’ Red Squirrel)