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The last couple of times I have been out, I thought the greys  were less nervous.  Probably because The numbers of walkers in the woods has been reduced dramatically. Best of all, no joggers or mountain bikers scaring everything and everybody!

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6 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

The last couple of times I have been out, I thought the greys  were less nervous.  Probably because The numbers of walkers in the woods has been reduced dramatically. Best of all, no joggers or mountain bikers scaring everything and everybody!

Well bag them up while you can and enjoy the woods being quiet.

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2 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Last weeks txt - all feeders 100% empty, not just on my patch but the whole 5k acre of woodlands - just cannot find time to get out 😟.

It doesn't help when its pouring down or minus 3, they'll just be a little bit fatter when you catch up with them.

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Just built a new flip top with a fat ball cage attached to a back plate to prevent any shoot throughs with the AA S200.

I plan to put it in a new positon which may prove fruitful.  Means a long walk to fill it up but it is a hopper version so not too often.

. Photos tomorrow

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As promised.  The cage has larger openings either side big enough for a small bird to enter and the front I have made a hole just large enough so a fat ball will not fall out but I hope big enough for a tree rat to poke it's nose into.  The back sheet is stainless steel so pretty resilient but still not too heavy.  I initially meant this for on a golf course where I did not want pellets flying about the place but that fell through.  Waiting for it to dry out a bit so I can drive to a new spot on the corner of a large neighbouring oak wood. Hopefully should up the kill rate.   The feeder is all made from scarp bits of metal sheet, most from flattened out oil drums.

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Good strong feeder mate ,did you use big oil drums ? As in the 40 gallon type because I can get myself one of those,and the fat balls do they work well for the tree rats,I have made a flip top like the front half of the one in your Land Rover but have not tried jet because of shielding ,Thanks for sharing and hope you have some luck as you say keep whacking and stacking bor keep up the good work.

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Yes, 45 gal drum. If your using the whole drum then the top and bottom is flat anyway but I cut them off as lids for pheasant feeders so left with the middle bit which I then cut in two pieces, spread out on the concrete and go to work with the sledge hammer and once you get those hal round creases flattened the rest is easy.   Totally chew proof.

The holes in the front are for the song birds, nuthatches and woodpeckers to come help themselves and they act as decoys as well.  First time with the fat balls but Mice says they work so thought I would see if they do.  Again waste not want not, an old live catch rat trap made two fat ball holders.  My first original flip top is still paying off as per picture and that one is made from alloy sheet.

011.jpg

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4 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Waiting for it to dry out a bit so I can drive to a new spot on the corner of a large neighbouring oak wood. Hopefully should up the kill rate.   The feeder is all made from scarp bits of metal sheet, most from flattened out oil drums.

Dry out? We've gone from frozen to water logged.  Looks good fella, great use of materials. 

2 hours ago, Walker570 said:

First time with the fat balls but Mice says they work so thought I would see if they do

 

4 hours ago, Morkin said:

the fat balls do they work well for the tree rats

If I get squirrels in my garden they always go for the fat balls,  because my big squirrel feeders are ply the birds can't get at the seed easily like Nev's so I put the fat balls out to attract birds which brings the squirrels in.

Great watching the birds while you wait for a squirrel to show up.

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1 hour ago, bruno22rf said:

Big fat one on the feeder in my garden today, rarely come anymore. Where was I? Upstairs, up a ladder with a trowel and plaster - could not have been further from my gun if I'd tried 🤬.

 

Oh that's made me laugh 🤣🤣🤣

Probably never be seen again 😅😅😅

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3 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Big fat one on the feeder in my garden today, rarely come anymore. Where was I? Upstairs, up a ladder with a trowel and plaster - could not have been further from my gun if I'd tried 🤬.

 

Put it down to just building confidence. Another da another chance and it may bring its mate next time.

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It was -3c this morning and I had to pour  two buckets of cold water over the drivers door before I could wrench it open.

The roads were like glass and I passed an SUV and trailer lying on its side after skidding into a stone wall.

Thankfully, I arrived safely at our destination which is a Hall and Estate, currently closed to the public so we could spend more time on site.

My pal was waiting for me in the car park, he had already clocked a grey with the thermal high up in an oak. Taking up our usual positions , either side of the tree, the first shot shifted it and second shot finished it. One down.

The whippets were then let out of the car and the older one soon clocked a grey 2/3 up a huge ornamental fir situated in the gardens. By the time we had got into position, we lost it. A couple of shots didn’t shift it so we moved onto the Arboretum. The arboretum has lost its specimen trees, but has plenty of large yews and a few large beeches. The whippet spotted a grey in the usual Beech and as we moved towards it, it’s mate came out a yew and ran towards the Beech, bang, my pal downed it in one and then got the other in two. I didn’t have a shot. 

Into the grounds of a B&B, I downed another which fell into the crown of a large Beech and was stuck. The whippets were most disappointed!

Moving to the larger wood by the lake, the dogs clocked another in a tall fir,   a warning shot revealed two greys. A Mexican stand off ensued. We would occasionally get a glimpse as one of us moved, but a good 15 minutes passed before my pal sighted and shot one. After another ten minutes we gave up trying to get the other.

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The next two woods were just as fruitful. The thermal or dogs would spot a grey at a distance, we would get into position and one or both of us would shoot it. The dogs would sit patiently at the base of the tree and wait. They are so switched onto movement, that often one of them could catch the grey in mid air as they dropped.

We ended the day with  a total of 11, having been out for 4 hours. I probably shot 1/3 of them but had 12 spent cartridges! 

Another grand day out, made better by watching the dogs working as they should.

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Brilliant.  I once had a vizsla which would spot and tree them and howl the place down before I had to drag him away.

That was a fair few years ago before I started seriously culling them.  Give them whips a cuddle from me, extra biscuit tonight.

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Unfortunately, not my whippets.

The light coloured one is the mother to the brindle. The brindle is still learning the ropes.They are both totally silent and switched on. The mother will range further and give a single yip, if she trees one and we are not in sight. Even though it was -3c, they never shiver- Cumbrian whippet- must be the adrenaline.

They are walked through different woods twice a day, so we always know when/where the greys are about.

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Sciurus, that's some serious effort you're putting in there, and a great read. Thank you and keep the tales coming 👍🙂

Edited by JKD
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1 hour ago, Sciurus said:

The dogs would sit patiently at the base of the tree and wait. They are so switched onto movement, that often one of them could catch the grey in mid air as they dropped.

Brilliant mate 👍

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Well done this morning you boys and whippets (Cumbrian) that's a good few ,you seem as if your got the job sorted but that do make ya think where they keep comming from sometimes .All the best good reading I love it and keep up the good work.

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Brilliant write up .   The dogs look like they know what to do.

My cocker was completely stumped when a squirrel he was chasing went up a tree? Bless him, I do miss him.

I've, run out of Squirrels , (four hours in a hide yesterday next to full feeders, and never saw one). 

Ran out of Rabbits three years ago , and the parrot plague hasn't hit us yet !

Anyone , want some air rifles?😂

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Chaps, Thanks for the kind words.

@Morkin, you asked where do  they come from and the simple answer is South!

Let me explain. Squirrels travel along corridors such as stone walls, trees and streams. They don’t tend to cross mountains. The geology of the Lake District is Valleys and Lakes  particularly Windermere run from North to South. Pockets of Red Squirrels survive in the quieter valleys.

Grasmere, which is just above Windermere, has a healthy red population. It is in a valley with only 3 routes in. The village is vigorously maintained as a grey free zone by the Grasmere group. I am one of the many volunteers from Westmorland Red Squirrels and one of our projects is to stop greys migrating along either side of the lake and cutting off two routes into Grasmere . That is a lot of woodland. The nearer to Grasmere, the tighter the control and the harder it is to get the last few.

It will always be a constant battle, but the reds are slowly expanding outwards, however the risk of squirrel pox is always there and we can never let our guard down particularly during lockdown. The support we get from NT and Local Authorities has been excellent, even though most departments are on furlough, we have written permission to continue grey control during lockdown on their extensive land holdings and are making the most of it!

@Longbower We had a similar experience to you. A red was reported in a village far from any previous sightings, so we dismissed it. Then a spate of sightings and a photo was produced of it crossing the road in the village centre and of course it turned out to have escaped from a nearby visitor attraction! It was easily caught and returned.

I seem to remember my Mother taking me to Arley Hall to see the reds early 1960s because they were disappearing then. Would I be right?

Plenty of greys at Tatton!😫grrrr

Atb

Sciurus

 

 

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19 hours ago, Sciurus said:

Chaps, Thanks for the kind words.

@Morkin, you asked where do  they come from and the simple answer is South!

Let me explain. Squirrels travel along corridors such as stone walls, trees and streams. They don’t tend to cross mountains. The geology of the Lake District is Valleys and Lakes  particularly Windermere run from North to South. Pockets of Red Squirrels survive in the quieter valleys.

Grasmere, which is just above Windermere, has a healthy red population. It is in a valley with only 3 routes in. The village is vigorously maintained as a grey free zone by the Grasmere group. I am one of the many volunteers from Westmorland Red Squirrels and one of our projects is to stop greys migrating along either side of the lake and cutting off two routes into Grasmere . That is a lot of woodland. The nearer to Grasmere, the tighter the control and the harder it is to get the last few.

It will always be a constant battle, but the reds are slowly expanding outwards, however the risk of squirrel pox is always there and we can never let our guard down particularly during lockdown. The support we get from NT and Local Authorities has been excellent, even though most departments are on furlough, we have written permission to continue grey control during lockdown on their extensive land holdings and are making the most of it!

@Longbower We had a similar experience to you. A red was reported in a village far from any previous sightings, so we dismissed it. Then a spate of sightings and a photo was produced of it crossing the road in the village centre and of course it turned out to have escaped from a nearby visitor attraction! It was easily caught and returned.

I seem to remember my Mother taking me to Arley Hall to see the reds early 1960s because they were disappearing then. Would I be right?

Plenty of greys at Tatton!😫grrrr

Atb

Sciurus

 

 

Thanks for the detail.

Plenty in Tatton and all points South, seemingly, sadly, a lack of understanding of Greys and an unwillingness to give land access is the big problem.

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Out for the first time in two weeks due to the inclement weather, I'm a wuss and there aint many greys left where I am.

Had a mooch about the wood and ended up where I normally see greys and got in behind a tree, saw one straight away that climbed up a big pine tree way out of my airgun range.

Very wet underfoot after all the frost and snow with a very cold wind, brrr!

After peering around one side of the tree for ages I swapped sides because nothing was moving,no woodies nothing, although I could hear the crows having a barnie with the local buzzards.

Almost immediately I saw two squirrels on the ground 25 yards away and one went left and the other right,luckily the left one ran ten yards and sat upright and caught a pellet right in the head,lights out not a twitch, very pleased.

Went on to the two feeding boxes which where hardly touched, froze my nuts off for two hours and only saw/heard a very noisy jay.

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I went and topped the big wood feeder up and checked the camera and there was a gray on the feeder at 8.30am so I think a morning visit is on the cards. I also added an old peanut feeder with just the bottom on it it fits 3 fatballs perfectly I put a fat ball either side of the feeder as well as the 3 in the cage I'll check on it in a couple of days to see if there is any more activity 😁

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