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2 hours ago, Sciurus said:

bet we were there for ten minutes looking upwards straining our backs then he said he could see an eye and down fell a female. I was gobsmacked - he is most definitely welcome to come on red patrol again!

Cheers mate, one of those shots I'll remember 👍

 

2 hours ago, Sciurus said:

Although his eyes are 25 years younger than mine, I made him puff walking up the slopes!😂😂😂

 

Apparently I woke the Mrs. Snoring last night but wasn't on my back!! I'd best do more walking instead of just sitting at feeders 😅😅

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Well thats 2020 done for me..finished on 249. Went out this morning but absolutely no movement. It was a joy because again I saw the song thrush and also a hen greenfinch for the first time for at leat a year , hope she finds a mate this spring and numbers start to grow back.  Topped up all feeders with a nice mix of goodies for the new year but looks like my first foray/s will be after magpies as my farmer says they are back in numbers all over his feed/concentrates etc., and milking a couple of hundred he is paranoid about disease.   Also a lot of sex going on in the fox population so a couple of evenings this next week will be a must.  Probably back on the tree rats toward the end of January.

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I'd hoped to get out again but we've met family members and gone for walks while exchanging presents the last couple of days and today we went giving blood so I'll have to wait for the new year.

40 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

Well thats 2020 done for me..finished on 249

Well done Walker, great effort.

I'm going to try and double my numbers again in the coming year, so I'd best get busy.

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The Total is not quite as high as last year, but pretty good considering the various lockdowns.

Great to see some new contributors and who are getting good figures as well!👍

There also seems to be a lot more interest in thermals now , adding stalking to our armoury in the war against greys as well as trapping and shooting feeders, making grey squirrel control a year round occupation.

Walker, your dedication is an inspiration to us all. (I wish I could get up as early as you!)

Happy New Year to everyone

Cheers Garnet

 

 

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Can I take this opportunity to thank you for some good reading and advice as I've probably said before but had health problems just lately and you have all given me some get up and go and interesting reading when unable to get out myself,I have managed to get myself some new locations so hopefully when it's not so cold for me to sit around I can add a few to 2021 numbers all the best and thanks again 

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Went out again today to the same place as last week, lovely morning and I thought it was going to stay overcast but after a bit of wind and a touch of rain the sun came out.
The strange thing was I left mine a frozen winter land and found a green and pleasant land?

I spent around an hour and a half in the lower area but didn't see any squirrels at all, lots of small birds, pigeons and magpies all pretending to be squirrels in the thermal.

Heading back to the car I caught a glimpse of a squirrel but we clocked each other and it was gone, by the the time I got to the wall there wasn't a sign of it.

A break for refreshments and I headed up, I spotted a red squirrel again and watched this for a while, followed it along then spotted a grey a good distance behind it, I headed towards it but again by the time I got up to where it was there was again no sign?

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This gives an idea of the terrain, steep, boggy with loads of chopped rhododendron everywhere, lots of oak and the odd beech.

I had a sit down in a few spots hoping something would come along, during the day I saw pigeons, blackbirds, field fares, wrens, robins, tits, pheasants, woodcock, buzzards, magpies, Jays, treecreepers, crows a Roe a red squirrel and two grey squirrels.

I went up to the area I'd seen the grey again but from a different direction, it was up in an oak, must have seen or heard me and was gone! But this time I was behind it following and watching where it went, I've never seen this behaviour before, they ran past small groups of trees on the golf course but this squirrel came down a tree and ran 400-500 yards, past dozens of trees to get away from me, then up a vertical bank into a big oak, the bank was 30 or 40ft up before the tree started, by the time I'd made my way around there was no sign of the crafty grey.
My thinking is these greys know what's coming, I know others have shot this wood which is why there are only a couple of greys left.
But I've an idea where they are now so it's a waiting game, hopefully next time.

first time out in 2021 and it's me 0 squirrels 1

I'll be back. 

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I've been out twice this week checking on feeders, BIG wood feeder was almost empty,  the week before xmas this was hardly getting touched so I'd guess the cold has got them hungry at last. It was getting dark when I topped this up so the rifle stayed in the car.

Second big feeder checked today, I haven't been to this since the 1st of December,  it was cleaned out, looked hoovered,  glad to say the brackets I put on seem to have stopped the chewing,  unless the one doing the chewing was the one I shot?

I didn't see anything other than birds, the resident buzzards were courting,  a Tawny owl, pigeons and I think a pair of ravens? Plus the assortment of small birds flitting around,  I made sure to spill plenty of seed, the wee birds can have breakfast on me and let the squirrels know that grubs up.

3pm till 5pm, nice bit of exercise but very cold, no wonder I didn't see any squirrels or rabbits. 

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I went and checked on my feeders today and the big wood with the camera on had no sign of any on the actual feeder but there was one on the tree, topped it up and left plenty on top and on the feed tray so hopefully sooner or later they will start using it. The two feeders in the small wood one has hardly been touched but the other one with out the flip top was almost empty properly birds though. 

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23 minutes ago, Martlandhw100 said:

I went and checked on my feeders today and the big wood with the camera on had no sign of any on the actual feeder but there was one on the tree, topped it up and left plenty on top and on the feed tray so hopefully sooner or later they will start using it. The two feeders in the small wood one has hardly been touched but the other one with out the flip top was almost empty properly birds though. 

I certainly don't begrudge the birds eating the seed at this time of year,  I feel guilty if I get home and the feeders are empty. 

What have you got in your feeders?

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47 minutes ago, Mice! said:

I certainly don't begrudge the birds eating the seed at this time of year,  I feel guilty if I get home and the feeders are empty. 

What have you got in your feeders?

Ino I'm the same I have about 15 bird feeders in my garden never let them go empty. After I had filled the feeder up in the wood as soon as I moved away the birds where straight on it. 

The big wood is just peanuts and the small wood I did have just peanuts but now I've been putting a mixture of peanuts sunflower hearts and some mixed seed as I do think I cleared all the grays from that wood. 

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4 hours ago, Martlandhw100 said:

Ino I'm the same I have about 15 bird feeders in my garden never let them go empty. After I had filled the feeder up in the wood as soon as I moved away the birds where straight on it. 

The big wood is just peanuts and the small wood I did have just peanuts but now I've been putting a mixture of peanuts sunflower hearts and some mixed seed as I do think I cleared all the grays from that wood. 

I've only got three feeders in the garden,  all with suspiciously good backstops!!

I was expecting you to say maize or wheat in the woods if nothing has been on them in this weather,  you must have cleared them out 😍😍👍

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59 minutes ago, Mice! said:

I've only got three feeders in the garden,  all with suspiciously good backstops!!

I was expecting you to say maize or wheat in the woods if nothing has been on them in this weather,  you must have cleared them out 😍😍👍

I have got two squirrel feeders up in the garden as well as the bird feeders. But again I think I have shot all the ones that where in the orchard 😂 

There is definitely grays in the big wood I've seen them when I've been walking through it to check on the feeder and I've had them on the feeder tree just not actually feeding I'm sure they will soon get the taste for the peanuts 👍

last time I was in ruffwoods I noticed most of the squirrels still had acorns in there mouths weather or not these where ones they have buried or still finding some on the ground I'm not sure. I have noticed some freshly chewed pine cones as well in there. 

IMG_20201207_133927.jpg

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1 hour ago, Martlandhw100 said:

last time I was in ruffwoods I noticed most of the squirrels still had acorns in there mouths weather or not these where ones they have buried or still finding some on the ground I'm not sure. I have noticed some freshly chewed pine cones as well in there. 

I've still got acorns all over the ground,  whether they are any good after sitting in the wet and cold I don't know. 

And they certainly like a pine cone.

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Yes, it is amazing just how far these grey will travel. I mentioned one last week and again saw one run the whole length of a field... maybe 400yrds then through that hedge and last saw it still going helter skelter down the next hedge another 150yrds further on, never stopping.

Still a fair few acorns about here but pleased to say they are now showing interest in the quality food I am offering with two or three of my flip tops being used. Also happy to say they are becoming scarce but just a joy to see dozens of small songbirds and more nuthatches than I have ever seen. Can never prove it but the reduction in grey numbers has to have had a result over last breeding season.

A couple of inches of snow here this morning.

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5 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Can never prove it but the reduction in grey numbers has to have had a result over last breeding season.

A couple of inches of snow here this morning.

You prove it with your eyes mate, it would be nice to get it verified officially though.

Snow but no pictures?

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So I got the leshiy zeroed yesterday so I decided seen as I had a couple of spare hours and the sun was out to take her to the big wood. The reason I got this permission was because there are alot of crows and jackdors and the farmer is having problems with disease from them in his chickens. 
On the approach I spot a jackdor in the tree tops so I take aim free hand and hit it with a sold heart and lung shot. It flew about 20 yards and then dropped at the edge of the wood unfortunately I couldn't find it. 
I got too where the feeder is and settled in 20min later the jackdors started to fly and a couple landed in the tree next too the feeder tree so I take aim but miss I think I must judged the shot because the angle I was shooting at. 
On the same tree the jackdors were in I noticed a gray scampering up the tree from the ground so I reload and watch it as it goes up into the tree tops. Luckily for me it stops and I have a clear shot between the v of a tree next to the hide. So take aim from sitting on the ground line it up and let the .22 hades go a solid thud as the pellet struck, the squirrel dangles holding on as the nerves kick in and then drops. I go and retrieve it and it was shot just under its head in the neck.
I also spotted another one it the tree tops but didn't have a clear shot so left that alone. 
The squirrels still aren't using the feeder so taking them from the tops will have to do for now :):thumb:
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2 hours ago, Martlandhw100 said:

The squirrels still aren't using the feeder so taking them from the tops will have to do for now :):thumb:

But they are in in the area around your feeder👍

I went out this afternoon,  I'd rather be out early doors but the light and time are still against me,  I topped one feeder up in the dark this morning on my way home so new that one was being used.

So 3pm saw me taking a walk, first feeder nothing,  rest of the walk pretty much nothing showing,  very unusual but its getting on and I'm guessing the beasties were out earlier. 

On approaching the area with my second feeder I heard the joyous sound of the lid banging, it's pretty over grown so getting into position isn't the easiest,  made my way in, and I could see two squirrels one on the feeder one above.

In position sat down and now we wait, about two minutes maybe before the squirrel charges back down to the feeder,  I'm thinking do I wait, see if the other comes down as well? Nope PFFT BANG, thought I had missed but the squirrel flopped off the feeder. 

Another couple of minutes and the Tawny owl came from behind me again and more or less attacked the feeder, just turning at the last moment,  looks like I've made a feeding point for the owls,  no idea if the camera will pick anything up but it's worth trying,  so the squirrels are under pressure even when I'm not there 😉

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First of the year, young male, his partner didn't show again and the JSB heavy went straight through, the only two I saw in two hours.

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1 hour ago, Mice! said:

But they are in in the area around your feeder👍

I went out this afternoon,  I'd rather be out early doors but the light and time are still against me,  I topped one feeder up in the dark this morning on my way home so new that one was being used.

So 3pm saw me taking a walk, first feeder nothing,  rest of the walk pretty much nothing showing,  very unusual but its getting on and I'm guessing the beasties were out earlier. 

On approaching the area with my second feeder I heard the joyous sound of the lid banging, it's pretty over grown so getting into position isn't the easiest,  made my way in, and I could see two squirrels one on the feeder one above.

In position sat down and now we wait, about two minutes maybe before the squirrel charges back down to the feeder,  I'm thinking do I wait, see if the other comes down as well? Nope PFFT BANG, thought I had missed but the squirrel flopped off the feeder. 

Another couple of minutes and the Tawny owl came from behind me again and more or less attacked the feeder, just turning at the last moment,  looks like I've made a feeding point for the owls,  no idea if the camera will pick anything up but it's worth trying,  so the squirrels are under pressure even when I'm not there 😉

20210112_171919.jpg.7da032f890b96f4b26b4a133a72f9b8c.jpg

First of the year, young male, his partner didn't show again and the JSB heavy went straight through, the only two I saw in two hours.

Yes it will only be a matter of time before they start to use the feeder. 

41 minutes ago, bruno22rf said:

Might be a wise move to check current laws regarding the shooting of Jackdaws , lot more restrictions I believe.

Don't worry I have checked and they can still be shot under the new licence as they are causing disease in live stock...

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It was a lovely day yesterday, 0 degrees but clear blue skies and sun.

I arranged to meet a pal to walk through a couple of local woods, however as I was travelling there, he phoned me to say as he was walking up  to meet me, his whippet had spotted a grey up a tree in a field and could I back him up. 

As I parked up in the green lane, I saw another grey run along a stone wall, jump into the branches and cross the lane into an oak literally above his head. I shouted a warning to him and incredibly the grey came back across the branches but didn’t make the other side alive. One grey  down and I hadn’t even got the gun out the slip!

Into the copse, the two whippets were sat looking up at a fir tree, urging us to get a move on. We couldn’t get a thermal signal but he knew roughly where it was. Two shots failed to shift it, but on the third it broke cover and gave me an easy overhead shot. Two down and we hadn’t even got to our own wood.

Arriving at our wood, there was an old chap walking a lurcher, so we had a quick chat whilst the whippets scouted about and they put another grey up another fir tree. We circled the fir, pal fired another shot to shift it and it was off, through a line of firs, giving very little chance of a clear shot. All I can say is 3 shot Mossbergs come  in very useful! Three down. 

Returning to the main path, I saw a pair of greys running about the branches of a large oak on the boundary. When we got there, it took a few minutes to spot one with the thermal, bang, bang, it was dead but hung tantalising on one claw for a good 20 seconds. They are tough critters! Four down. We never spotted  the other grey.

We crossed into another wood, where there is a small colony of reds but after an hour didn’t see any squirrels of any colour. What was unusual (for us) was woodpigeons and crows were lazily flying about and landing above our heads, even though we were in full view. We are not authorised to shoot anything but greys so left them alone.

It was a grand morning to be out and easy to keep socially distant. Good job we had the whippets as the thermals weren’t working well in the sun. 

 

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4 hours ago, Sciurus said:

t was a grand morning to be out and easy to keep socially distant. Good job we had the whippets as the thermals weren’t working well in the sun. 

Belting mate, I've found the lack of squirrels strange lately,  but I didn't stalk any pigeons for a change yesterday 😅

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